Guide to the Research Collections



The Research Libraries acquire or, through cooperative library enterprises, provide access to United States newspapers in all languages from the standard metropolitan areas (as defined by the United States Census Bureau) on a representative basis, and on a selective basis other newspapers which may be important for cultural, economic, political, or sociological reasons. Since this policy, instituted in 1969, represents a change from previous coverage, emphasis is placed on participation in cooperative library newspaper programs (where files are represented in microform) and on purchase of microform newspaper files for titles of particular importance. The existing files of newspapers are being gradually augmented. Long-range plans call for the completion of existing broken files and the microforming of original files as a means of preserving the collection.

The library acquires or provides access to newspapers from other countries on a selective basis; when possible this includes at least one newspaper from every country in the world. Microfilms of lacking titles are borrowed from the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago or elsewhere.

The library maintains for its own collections comprehensive files of New York City newspapers in all languages. If films of these titles are not available through commercial or other sources, the library acquires original issues and undertakes preservation of these titles by microform. The library has always had a comprehensive collection of New York City newspapers, but while recognizing its responsibility to acquire the local and neighborhood newspapers of the city, it had not been able to do so with any great degree of success until 1969. In that year, after the formulation of the new acquisition policy, various library divisions began to make a particular effort to obtain this material, particularly those titles considered to be of cultural, economic, political, or sociological value. These local and neighborhood newspapers are generally the collecting responsibility of the Local History and Genealogy Division, and include complete files on film of two outstanding titles, the Villager and the Village Voice. Other titles will be added in accordance with the new policy. The Branch Libraries have in various of their units current files of local and neighborhood newspapers which are usually discarded after a short period. The Schomburg Center of the Research Libraries retains a complete file of the Amsterdam News (1922-23, 1925- ). Under the new acquisition policy, underground newspapers are also to be acquired selectively by the Periodicals Section of the Research Libraries. The Newspaper Collection will, in addition, acquire commercially produced collections of underground newspapers on microfilm.