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Newspapers at the BPL: Historical Newspapers — Original

Newspaper resources at the Boston Public Library and beyond.

Original Newspaper Backfiles

The Boston Public Library holds of one of the major newspaper collections in the country, and served as the center for the Massachusetts Newspaper Program. Due to the fragility of these materials however, the Library can only provide very limited access to original newspaper files. The majority of original newspaper files are stored off site at our Archival Center and are not available for direct handling. In most cases people will be required to use microfilm copies of the files when available. If microfilm copies are not adequate and a higher quality image is required, an ILL request using the ILLiad link can be made for copies from the originals. This process generally requires around 2 weeks. Exceptions may be made for viewing post-1950 newspapers at the discretion of the staff on a case by case basis, if no other format is available.

Contact us at or through our contact page for help in locating or obtaining copies from original newspapers. Pre-1820 newspapers are held in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department.

Original Newspaper Holdings — Boston Public Library

Catalog Searching Help: This guide will give you general introductory help on searching our catalog

The easiest way to locate our holdings of original newspapers is to search our catalog here for the name of the newspaper as a title, then limit the results to the location "Archival Center."  Most pre-1950 original newspaper are kept at that location so that is the easiest way to find them.  More recent titles may still be kept in the building until they can be microfilmed or processed for permanent storage. It is not recommended to limit by the format "newspaper" since that designation was not always used on older records.

Original Newspaper Holdings - National

Ballou's Pictorial 1859

Ballou's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion was a 19th-century illustrated periodical published in Boston, an online of which can be read here that was created from our original paper copy.