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Newspapers at the BPL: Historical Newspapers -- Specialized

Newspaper resources at the Boston Public Library and beyond.

Specialized Newspapers

These are sets of newspapers that have been collected on microfilm around a particular subject or topic. The arrangement may vary from set to set.  Some of the collections identify newspapers that contain current news and are targeted to clearly identified groups. More common types of special interest newspapers include those directed to ethnic or racial groups, labor unions, farming communities, religious groups, and political groups. This page is not all-inclusive but rather should give an idea of the kind of resources available within this group.

Alternative / Underground newspaper sets

American Civil War Series — BPL compilations

Anarchist Newspapers & Periodicals on Microfilm

Civil Rights Collection -- Facts on Film (Microfilm), 1954 - 1971

Facts on Film [Microfilm Collection]

Southern Education Reporting Service, Nashville, TN


This is a collection focused on civil rights.   The materials are housed in the library of the Southern Education Reporting Service, Nashville, TN.  There are extensive clipping files of newspaper editorials, editorial cartoons, letters to the editor, newspaper clippings by general subject, newspaper clippings (subjects by state), and magazine articles, in addition to other materials.

Disaster Series — BPL compilations

Entertainment Newspapers on Microfilm

Ethnic newspaper sets

Many of these materials could be classified as newsletters or periodicals, but are listed here with newspapers since the format is similar.

NOTE: these microfiche are currently in remote storage and inaccessible

Miscellaneous Negro Newspapers Series. E185.5.M58
[The Library of Congress filmed this set of ”Miscellaneous Negro Newspapers" for the Committee on Negro Studies of the American Council of Learned Societies. In our guide the papers are arranged by state, then by city, then by title. In many cases only a few issues are available for a year. The final column shows on which reel of the set that the newspaper can be found. 12 reels. The set has been digitized on Ancestry Library edition under the title "U.S., African American Newspapers, 1829-1947."

Presidential newspaper sets

James A. Garfield Papers (BPL compilation) E687.9.G37. 25
[Newspapers from 30 American states and the District of Columbia, plus 6 foreign countries, from September 1881] 16 reels

John F. Kennedy Memorial Collection, E842.M45 (BPL compilation)
Newspaper articles on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, November 1963. 10 reels

John F. Kennedy Papers. E842.9.J2  (Commercial set)
[Newspapers from 31 foreign countries, from November 1963] 11 reels

Abraham Lincoln Papers (BPL compiled set) E457.5.L69
[Newspapers from 28 American states and the District of Columbia, plus Canada, England and the Kingdom of Hawaii from April and May 1865. (Also includes unrelated New York Tribune Extras from the 1870s and 1880s).] 24 reels

William McKinley Papers (BPL compilation) E711.0.M33
[Newspapers from 19 American states, Arizona Territory and the District of Columbia, plus 15 foreign countries, from September 1901] 26 reels

Nixon Resignation (BPL compiled set)   E860.P75
[Newspapers from 34 American states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, plus 6 foreign countries, from August 1974] 4 reels.

Religious Newspapers (and Periodicals)

Scrapbooks - selected miscellaneous

Scrapbooks vary in quality and organization. This is a sampling of those scrapbooks that have been microfilmed. You may find others in individual departments or branches, or by searching the BPL catalogs. 

Several scrapbook sets have been digitized, with links to the electronic records from the BPL catalog.

Women's Newspapers on Microfilm

Statue of Lucy Stone, editor of the Woman's Journal,

Boston Women's MemLucy Stone, editor of the Woman's Journalorial, Commonwealth Avenue. 

Artist:  Meredith Bergmann.

The Gerritsen Collection of Woman's History & the History of Women microfilm collections include many periodicals.  Among them the Woman's Journal edited by Lucy Stone and Henry Browne Blackwell.


The Woman’s Era was published and edited by Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin.   It was the first newspaper published by and for African-American women.