Help Searching the Illinois Newspaper Directory


The objective of the Illinois Newspaper Directory is to make about Illinois newspapers available to anyone anywhere. It contains comprehensive information about the newspapers that the Illinois Newspaper Project (INP) has identified and catalogued, as well as titles that we’ve preserved by microfilming. It also includes records for Illinois newspapers that have been digitized, both by the INP and by other organizations (both commercial and non-commercial).

Though the database does not contain newspaper articles or digital newspaper content, it is a great tool for finding where current and historical newspapers are located. For suggestions on places to find newspaper content online, please visit our resources page.

Quick Tips:

  • If you receive too many results, fill in as much information as possible to narrow your search criteria.
  • If you receive no results or very few results, try searching for less information such as the title of the newspaper and the state of origin.
  • When searching for a location beginning with “St.” or “Mt.”, spell out the abbreviations (Saint or Mount).
  • For more help, contact us.

A Note About Newspaper Title Changes:

Much like a family tree, newspapers can be diagrammed to show how they grew, merged, absorbed one another, and sprouted different editions. Newspaper catalogers consider each change in a title that lasts for more than a year as a different newspaper. The most recent newspaper title in the ‘record set’ is the name of the newspaper tree. For example, the newspaper tree for the Alton Telegraph spans the years 1836 to the present day. Like a family tree, the current Alton Telegraph has ancestors and descendants. Examining the newspaper tree is a good method of understanding the publishing history of a geographical area.

How To Read Local Holding Records:

Holding records in the Illinois Newspaper Directory are read as <YEAR:MONTH:DAY>. The “<” and “>” are used to enclose a range of dates. <1915:1:1-1920:4:30> = January 1, 1915 through April 30, 1920. <1884:7:25> = July 25, 1884. <1990:6:13-15, 9:25,29> = June 13-15, 1990 and September 25 and 29, 1990. This field may contain a note like “Some issues are missing.” to indicate an incomplete run.