Newspaper Archives: A Great Source for Research

RJ Carr
6 min readJun 24, 2021
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One of the aspects of writing is research. A great place to begin is newspapers, specifically the archives. Fortunately, today on the internet, we have a great ability to search periodicals and get a virtual real-time understanding of an event in history. It is even better when we discover new stories and ideas.

In my research, I use the website (not an affiliate link). This enables me to focus on a specific time frame and search term. I make virtual clippings that I can later use to deepen my understanding of that topic even as I discover new ones

Researching newspapers gives a look into the mindset of the people at the time. Those events help us to deepen our understanding of our own events as well.

Often times when one may think of doing research, the first idea is to look up the words from the newspaper of record the New York Times. does not number the Times as one of its newspapers and I do not subscribe to it. However, where are you going to get a lot of your news? From the smaller papers throughout the country where the news actually happened.

For example, when I wrote my article about the Cape Cod Canal in Massachusetts, I found Congress passed the bill authorizing the purchase of the waterway under the Calvin Coolidge Administration. Coolidge was once a Massachusetts Governor. So the news focused on what his administration would do about similar issues in other parts of the country.

The Sikeston, Missouri Standard took issue with the New Englander’s actions, calling it the Cape Cod steal. An uncredited column cited Coolidge’s approval of the federal government’s purchase of the Cape Cod Canal while the previous three administrations rejected it. They were not New Englanders, however.

I live a two and half hour drive from Race Point which is the tip of Cape Cod. My understanding of the world-famous resort area is going to be different from what one may find in the mid-west.

RJ Carr