Pennsylvania Newspapers

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

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Newspapers are an important source for vital records, etc., during the period before Pennsylvania began keeping civil vital records.

History[edit | edit source]

Pennsylvania's first newspaper was the American Weekly Mercury published in Philadelphia in 1719. Ben Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette began in 1728.

Pennsylvania presses published German-language newspapers as early as the eighteenth century:

  • Stoudt, John Joseph, The German Press in Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 59, No. 1 (Jan. 1935):76-90. For free online access, see WeRelate.
  • Reading Adler, Reading Eagle, 28 May 1868; "About Der Readinger Adler (Reading, Pa.)," Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Resources for Pennsylvania Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Inventory[edit | edit source]

  • The U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present is a national directory from the Library of Congress of over 140,000 newspaper titles. The directory provides a list of libraries from around the country that have the newspapers in their collections
  • Rauco, Louis F.; State Library of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Newspapers and Selected Out-of-State Newspapers (S.I.:s.n., 1984] WorldCat 14273189 FHL Collection Includes list of newspapers held by the State Library of Pennsylvania.
  • Salisbury, Ruth Salisbury, Pennsylvania Newspapers, a Bibliography and Union List (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Library Association, 1969. FHL book 974.8 A3s. A listing of all newspapers ever known to have been published, with locations.
  • Pennsylvania Historical Survey, Division of Community Service Programs, Work Projects Administration, A Checklist of Pennsylvania Newspapers, Philadelphia County (Harrisburg, Pa.; Pennsylvania Historical Commission, 1944) FHL fiche 6101596; book 974.811 B33. An inventory for Philadelphia County.

Libraries and Archives[edit | edit source]

The State Library of Pennsylvania has the largest newspaper collection. An inventory of these is Louis F. Rauco, Pennsylvania Newspapers and Selected Out-of-State Newspapers ([S. l.: s. n.], 1984. FHL film 1320895 item 16; book 974.8 B3p

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has a major collection, especially of Philadelphia newspapers (1790-present).

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has a large collection, especially of Pittsburgh newspapers. It also has a card index to marriages and deaths listed in the newspapers in their collection.

Digital Issues Online[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia has more about this subject: List of online newspaper archives

Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project, four publications cover 1895-2010, free.

Family History Library[edit | edit source]

  • Excerpts of genealogical interest abstracted from Pennsylvania newspapers : in the collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 198-?) FHL film 1405338–1405340
  • Presbyterian Historical Society (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Presbyterian Newspaper, v. 49, 1879 (SLC, Utah, 1966) FHL film 504271–504272
  • Wright, Frederick Edward; Martha Reamy, Carlisle gazette and the western repository of knowledge; Pennsylvania Herald and York General Advertiser, Abstracts of south central Pennsylvania newspapers : items from the Carlisle Gazette and the York Advertiser pertaining to the lives of persons living in south central PennsylvaniaAt various libraries (WorldCat); FHL book 974.84 B38a
  • Rice, Phillip A., Jean A. Dellock, Schuylkill Roots, researchers, Circuit and Circuit Riders (Apollo, Pennsylvania : Closson Press, c1996) FHL 974.8 K2ri v. 1,2
  • Graeff, Arthur, Larry M. Neff, Selections from Arthur Graeff's Scholla (Breinigsville, Pennsylvania:Pennsylania German Society, c. 1971) FHL book 974.8 B4pgp v. 5

To access newspaper resources available through the FamilySearch Catalog, use the Place-name Search for:


Obituaries[edit | edit source]

  • Hildeburn, Charles R. "An Index to the Obituary Notices published in the Pennsylvania Gazette, from 1728-1791," The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 10 (1886):334-349. For free online access, see WeRelate.
  • Smith, Gary V., Corry Weekly Herald (Corry, Pennsylvania), Index to 3000 death notices covering northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York extracted from the Corry Weekly Herald (Corry, Pennsylvania) (Montgomery, Alabama :G.V. Smith, c1992) FHL film 1697903 item 1; book 974.899/C1 V4s index
  • Quaker Necrology (Boston, Massachusetts:G.K. Hall, 1961) FHL film 823643 items 1-2; book 973 V23q This two-volume set represents some 59,000 death notices indexed on cards at Haverford College Library from 1922-1960. The entries were originally recorded in four periodicals: Friends' Weekly Intelligencer, The Friends' Review. The American Friend, and The Friends Review.

To access obituary resources available through the FamilySearch Catalog, use the Place-name Search for:


Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]