Knit to This: Newspapers Galore

By Ann Shayne
August 22, 2020

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16 Comments
  • Yikes. Brings new scope to that series of birthday cards chronicling The Year You Were Born. And social historians must be in hog heaven. Not to mention a whole bunch of other things. Thanks for the heads up, Ann!

    • ChronicalingAmerica is the record of all American newspapers, a site courtesy of the Library of Congress, and perhaps the source of other similar sites. You can search for free.

      • That is really helpful info. Thanks!

  • The hubs and I have been into genealogy all of our adult lives and we’ve had a subscription to Newspapers .com as long as it’s existed. It truly is wonderful.

  • This is run by the Ancestry.com people. Your readers may or may not want to support them.

  • Your snippets are so thought provoking and thoughtfully written.
    Thank you!

  • I love reading old newspapers. The history nerd in me. We found a trove a 1915 papers in our wall a few summers ago while repairing something. They fell apart pretty quickly, but the suffrage news and the want ads were especially interesting. “White man, not over 45, no jews.” That sort of thing. When I was in HS there were still “help wanted men” and ‘help wanted women’ sections. That was in the 70’s! Thanks for the tip.

    • I was just telling one of my nieces about the division of want ads in my youth. We found old papers in our house too, my favorite was from 1928/9 which had the headline “Fascist hand seen in German politics”. My current house had some from the 1880s, rural Pennsylvania, which seem to consist mostly of strayed cattle notices, and a surprising number of ads for various fiber mills, wool and silk. So many small local industries in those days, makes me sad to think of them.

  • A few years ago I was in the Denver Public Library and started doing a search and hours later I had learned so much about the family of my first husband. His grandmother’s obituary was “Denver socialite Mrs. Amos Sudler dead at 65 “ Her name was never mentioned. Her son was dead at 62 and that was front page news. Thanks for the news

  • Be sure to check with your local library, which may very well subscribe to this or a similar resource, so you’ll have free access. If you’re affiliated with an academic library, they are almost for sure to have a access to online newspaper archives.

    • Ah, yes! A wonderful idea, but for us in Oregon it’s not available with help until after COVID-19. I’m a crazy fun knitter, and I love making all manner of other things for my grand babies, but, this old Nana is too close to being a Luddite when it comes to computers. It drives my DH a bit around the bend because he thinks I ask him the same question too many times! ‍♀️

  • Yes, it is stunning to read about the history of Black people from original sources. So much has been hidden from us. I recommend The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, by Edward Baptiste. There are so many voices of enslaved people included in this book. It is a real eye-opener.

    • Good tip! No library, but an excellent independent bookstore I love supporting that always has the obscure books I want!

  • When I was a gifted ed teacher, I took my 5th graders to our college library and we looked at the local papers. Their town, Norge, VA was founded by farmers who had immigrated to the upper mid-west from Norway. The students saw the ads that lured the farmers to Norge, VA to start farms. That is how Norge, VA got its name! The students were also amazed to see ads for runaway slaves. Someone else said your public library probably has free access to this database. Public libraries are treasures.

  • TEL – Tennessee Electronic Library is a free resource to anyone in Tennessee. You can access The Tennessean from 1812 – 2002. It’s a great resource, and TEL has way more to offer too. Check it out.

  • The women do not have names! When my great grandmother died she was listed as Mrs. Edward Mills!