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Newspapers.com Quick Guide

By Rick Crume Premium
A stack of newspapers next to a laptop computer.

Newspapers.com has more than 389 million pages of papers dating from the 1700s to the 2000s. It has papers from across the United States, plus smaller collections from Canada, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Panama. The core of the collection is papers from the former Footnote website (now called Fold3), whose owner, Ancestry.com, launched Newspapers.com in 2012 with a similar user interface to Fold3. Millions of new pages are added every month.

Membership Options

Newspapers.com Basic

  • 176 million+ pages from 15,700+ newspapers dating back to the 1700s
  • Continually updated
  • Easy clipping and sharing

Cost

$7.95 a month, or $44.95 for six months

Newspapers.com Publisher Extra

  • Everything in Newspapers.com Basic
  • 389 million+ additional pages licensed from publishers
  • Archives through last month

Cost

$19.90 a month, or $74.90 for six months

Newspapers.com Search Strategies

Use these strategies to find your ancestors mentioned in Newspapers.com:

1. Search for a name or keyword.

On the home page, you can search on a keyword or name. Click on the arrow to add a newspaper’s location and a date.

Results display as thumbnail images. Click a match to view it on a newspaper page. Your search terms are highlighted on the pages. Use the arrows by the search box at the top of the page to view all instances, including those on other pages in the edition.

2. Browse or search by place or paper.

Click on Browse at the top of most pages and you can work your way down through newspapers organized by country, state, city, newspaper and date. At any point, use the Search box to search just the papers in the group you’ve selected. Use the filters to narrow the list of papers by date published or state; a search box at the top lets you search just the titles displayed.

Click a title to search that paper or to browse papers published on a specific date. For example, if your search for an ancestor’s obituary isn’t productive, try browsing papers published in the week after his death. You may find the name misspelled, or the page so faded that optical character recognition software couldn’t read it.

3. Filter search results.

You can sort your results by best matches or date using the dropdown menu at the top right. Filters to the left of your matches let you view them by newspaper title, publication date (use the slider or type a date in the box), and publication place (click a state on the map). Click in the search box above your results to add a keyword, or click an X by a search term to remove it from the search.

Newspapers.com Power-User Tips

Try it free.

You can get a free seven-day trial of Newspapers.com. You’ll need to enter your credit card information. To avoid charges, cancel (from your Account Details page) before the trial period ends.

Clip an article.

When viewing a newspaper article, click the scissors icon to “clip” a copy. You can link a newspaper page or a clipping to a profile in your Ancestry.com Member Tree. Access your clippings here.

Download an article.

To save an article to your computer, click the printer icon, choose the portion of the page you want, click Save, and choose a PDF or JPG file.

Newspapers.com Helpful Links

A version of this article appeared in the March/April 2015 issue of Family Tree Magazine.