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NYS Historic Newspapers uses the same software that the Library of Congress uses to make its Chronicling America website. This easy to use and modern interface is well documented with introductory videos and instructional flyers. We've collected these in addition to our own Frequently Asked Questions to assist our guests in exploring NYS Historic Newspapers.

While many of these materials feature the Chronicling America website, the basic features and navigation are same on NYS Historic Newspapers as well.

Video Podcasts

These videos were developed by the Ohio Historical Society. We've selected several that answer some of our most commonly asked questions. The full series is available at the Ohio Historical Society website.


Frequently Asked Questions


Why is the date of the newspaper I am looking for not included?

The dates included were chosen because of the anticipated interest in the period covered, the condition of the original newspapers and the quality of the microfilm from which these images were made. Once a date range for a title was chosen, all of the filmed issues available were done. For some titles there may be missing issues or entire years that no longer exist.

May I suggest titles to be added to this site?

Yes, as long as the title was published in New York State . Email the address on the "Contact Us" section of this web site.

I did a search for a name that I know is in the paper but it did not come up. Why?

Indexing is done by searching for words in an image of the newspaper page. This is called Optical Character Recognition or OCR. OCR is not a perfect process even with very good originals. When the originals are discolored or contain broken type, the results are not as good. If the OCR program was not able to identify a word it will not appear in the index.

Can I download entire newspaper titles to my computer for personal research?

No, this activity is not permitted. Users who download full titles will be blocked from the site.

Where can I see or get copies of the original newspapers?

www.nysl.nysed.gov/nysnp/ has the locations of all of the original copies that we know of. It also lists libraries and archives that hold microfilmed copies. It is important to contact a repository for its current holdings and conditions of access before visiting.

How can I perform an exact search?

From the front page of the site click on the 'Advanced Search' tab above the blue Search bar. Enter your search words in the box labeled “...with the phrase:” and then click 'Search'. The results returned will contain your search phrase exactly. The website will highlight all occurrences of each word of your search so look closely for clusters of highlighting. This indicates a great place to start reading for your words.

I'm performing an 'Advanced Search' and keep getting zero results. Why?

Generally this is caused by entering too many options into the 'Advanced Search'. We recommend that when using the 'Advanced Search' avoid selecting a city and county in the same search. Please use one or the other. Also to get the best search results, enter your search words in only one of the search boxes at the bottom of the 'Advanced Search'.

I'd like to select more than one city (or county) in my 'Advanced Search'. How can I do this?

Using your mouse click to select the first city from the list. Scroll through the list to find your second city. If your computer is a Windows computer, press and hold the CTRL key on the keyboard and click your second city. If your computer is a Mac, the press the Command key on the keyboard and click your second city. You can select any number of cities in this fashion.

I can't seem to clear my search settings after doing an 'Advanced Search'. How can I clear them?

The 'Advanced Search' settings are retained so that while performing a search you can go back and refine the settings without re-enter the search words and settings. However, if you want to start a new search it can be a nuisance. To clear the setting and begin again click on the site's logo in the upper left hand corner. This will reload the page and clear your search settings.

How can I print only the part of the newspaper page that I want?

Adjust the zoom and positioning so that the portion of the page desired is visible. Then click the scissor icon on the image toolbar. This will open a new window displaying the desired section of the page. On this screen, select "Print this image". This topic is covered in the video: How Do I Print An Image?

Can I make the newspaper page take up more of the screen?

In the image toolbar, click on the fourth icon from the left. This will move the display into full screen. Depending on your operating system (Windows, Mac OS, Chrome OS, Android, Linux, etc.) it may ask for permission or provide additional instructions on how to leave this mode. Take note of details for your operating system accordingly. Once in full screen mode, clicking on the fourth icon from the left will return the view to normal. This topic is covered in the video: How Do I Zoom On An Image?

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