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Newspapers at the BPL: Reference Materials

Newspaper resources at the Boston Public Library and beyond.

Reference Materials

Here are links to make research on news, newspapers, and the newspaper industry easier.

Ayer Newspaper Directory 1920


Library of Congress Subject Headings

 Useful for searching our catalog for books on these topics by subject 

Newspaper Directories — Online

Newspaper directories are typically annuals. They note what newspapers were published each year, with circulation figures, dimensions, frequency, and intended audience. Newspaper Directories were created for prospective advertisers to learn about media markets. They may give information about publication's circulation area such as population or industries. Frequently they include tables of the Sunday press, weekly press, foreign language press, religious press, and trade papers. They often give the name of the publisher, editor, and/or advertising manager.

Newspaper directories are one of the first places to look to discover which titles were published in a given year or for a geographical area. Occasionally, these volumes document the existence of newspapers that have not been preserved, but they may just as well lead you to look for titles that you did not know existed.

  • American Antiquarian Society Clarence database for locating genres and political affiliations of newspapers and periodicals
  • Centennial Newspaper Exhibition 1876 includes a complete list of US newspapers and their circulation based upon Geo. P. Rowell Amercian Newspaper Directory for the year 1876
  • Chronicling America U.S. Newspaper Directory 1690 to present can also be searched by ethnicity and labor related titles
  • Rowell & Ayer U.S. Newspaper Directories online

Newspaper Directories — Recent

Massachusetts Resources

Newspaper Holdings