The earliest newspaper available via this website was published in 1769, and the most recent in 2003. The series (or ‘runs’) of papers shown here are not entire. Days, weeks or months of a particular title may be missing, individual issues may be incomplete, and pages may be torn or severed.
The newspapers available here have generally been digitized by individual issues within a year. Click on an individual issue, and you will then be able to click through each page in that issue. If the digital files were captured in PDF format, you will be able to use the standard search feature to look for individual words and names within each issue. Please note, however, that not all the newspapers digitized for this project were done in PDF format.
Older newspapers can be challenging to read. One quirk you’ll encounter immediately in those published before 1800 is the strange-looking ‘long s’ – ∫ – that looks a little like an ƒ. It’s used alone in the middle of words, or in combination with a second, normal-looking ‘short s’, or sometimes it’s connected to a following ‘t’ in a cute little type-face curlicue. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines the ‘long s’ as: ‘a lower-case form of the letter s, written or printed ∫; not in general use after the early nineteenth century.’
Lastly, wondering about the handwritten names scrawled on the front page of some issues? That’s the name of the subscriber, who would collect his or her newspaper at the post office or from the publisher. No subscription labels in the early days!