Loading Library Hours...

Newspaper Catalogs, Directories, and Guides


  • U.S. Newspaper Directory: Its name notwithstanding, the U.S. Newspaper Directory is actually a union catalog of extant U.S. newspapers in American libraries and historical societies. You can search the catalog by by place of publication, date of publication, intended audience, and more.
  • Illinois Newspaper Directory (formerly the Illinois Newspaper Project Database): A union catalog of extant newspapers held by libraries, historical societies, and museums in Illinois. Emphasis is on Illinois newspapers. Search by title, or else browse by county, city, or date of publication. You can also browse using an interactive map.
  • Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library: The largest collection of Illinois newspapers.
  • Newsplan: Actually six separate union catalogs identifying extant newspapers held by libraries and museums in Great Britain and Ireland. Each of the six catalogs covers holdings within a specific region. Similar to the U.S. Newspaper Directory.
  • Center for Research Libraries Newspaper Catalog: The Center for Research Libraries has a large collection of newspapers, especially non-U.S. newspapers. You can search for a specific title, or browse by country. American newspapers can also be browsed by ethnic group. Newspapers discovered in this catalog can be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan.
  • ICON: International Coalition on Newspapers: A union catalog, maintained by the Center for Research Libraries, of newspaper holdings at institutions around the world. Includes extensive registry of International Newspaper Digitization Projects.
  • NewspaperCat: Catalog of Digital Historical Newspapers: Catalog digitized newspapers from the United States and Caribbean countries. Includes interactive map.


The main newspaper directories for North America were Rowell’s and Ayer’s. Published annually, these directories were actually intended as a guide for advertisers seeking information about publications in which to place advertisements. The titles changed frequently, and the two eventually merged in 1910. The directories are organized by state and then city. For each newspaper, the directory will typically include information like address, name of editor, frequency of publication, size of the newspaper, circulation numbers, political affiliation, and more. These directories are indispensable tools for researching American newspapers. Volumes through 1922 are available online. After 1922, the volumes are available in print only (at the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library).

Specialized Guides