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Course & Subject Guides

History of the English Language - Greensburg Campus

This guide will assist students in Dr. Greenfield's History of the English Language (ENGLIT 1552) course in researching the development of their chosen words.

Early American Newspapers

Early American Newspapers

To access Early American Newspapers, click on the image above.

What is Early American Newspapers?

"Early American Newspapers features cover-to-cover reproductions of hundreds of historic newspapers, providing more than one million pages as fully text-searchable facsimile images. For students and scholars of early America, this unique collection -- based largely on Clarence Brigham's 'History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820' -- offers an unprecedented look back into the extraordinary history of the United States -- the story of its people, ideals, commerce and everyday life."

Early American Newspapers covers 1690 - 1922.

I just went into Early American Newspapers, and it looks a lot different from the other databases.  How do I search it?

Early American Newspapers is probably one of the most user-friendly databases.  However, it can be a bit confusing, since it seems as if there are so many options and tabs from which to choose!

When you are using this database for the first time, I would recommend typing your word into the search box and hitting enter.  The default for sorting the results is "Chronological order," which is probably what you have been using in the other databases.

I did a search for my word, and it returned hundreds of thousands of results!  What do I do?!?

First, don't panic!  As I said before, this database is user-friendly.

You'll notice that you have several tabs above your results list.  This can really help you to narrow down the results to a manageable amount. 

The first tab is "Dates & Eras."  If you click on this tab, you will see a list of "Eras in American History," which you can use to narrow your results list by time period.  It's possible you will want to check a few eras to sample usage.  To select an era or eras, click on the corresponding checkbox(es) and then click on the "Search" button.

The second tab is "Article Types."  With this tab, you can narrow your results list by article type, such as news, opinion, advertisements, letters, death notices, and cartoons.  Again, it might be useful to sample several different results.

The fouth tab is "Places of Publication," which might be useful if you know that your word has some regional variation in usage.

I'm looking at an article, and I can't figure out how to scroll to see the rest of it?

Yes, I had that problem too.  Around the perimeter of the image window (which contains the image of the article), you will see thin, gray bars with arrows and directional words.  You should use these to scroll up and down or left and right.

On top of the image window, you are also given the option to print or convert the image to PDF format.