Guide to the Research Collections

- Newspaper Collection

Newspaper Collection

The Newspaper Collection of the Research Libraries, located in the library's Annex at 521 West 43rd Street, contains files of more than 4,000 newspapers published in most areas of the world since 1800. Papers published before 1800 are usually to be found in the Rare Book Division, although some eighteenth-century British files are in the Newspaper Collection. Newspapers in the Balto-Slavic and Oriental languages, and in Hebrew and Yiddish, are generally found in the Slavonic, Oriental, and Jewish Divisions. Most files of foreign newspapers begin in 1900 or later, although there are some earlier files. The holdings of the Newspaper Collection include more than 42,000 reels of microfilm and approximately 22,000 bound volumes. Most of these bound volumes contain older files of newspapers. More than 150 current titles are received from all over the world. A small collection of reference books is maintained, including the standard indexes to the New York Times, London Times, Christian Science Monitor, and the Wall Street Journal, along with other materials on journalism and newspaper history.

There are virtually complete files of most general newspapers (as distinguished from those of strictly local or neighborhood distribution) published in New York City from 1801 to the present, in English and other languages. Notable files include the New York Post (1801- ), New York Journal of Commerce and Commercial (1828- ), New York Herald (1835-1924), Brooklyn Eagle (1841-1955), New York Times (1851- ), World (1860-1931), and the New York Sun (1833-43, 1861-1950). Foreign language papers published in New York City include the Atlantis and National Herald (Greek), El diario-La Prensa (Spanish), Nordisk Tidende (Norwegian), and others in Chinese, Japanese, Finnish, Swedish, Italian, and German.

Some of the significant titles received from other cities of the United States are the Atlanta Constitution (1945- ), Boston Herald and Boston Herald Traveller (1952- ), Chicago Tribune (1947- ), Honolulu Star-Bulletin (1959- ), New Orleans Times-Picayune (1958- ), and Philadelphia Inquirer (1860-65, incomplete; 1942- ). The collection of California newspapers covers the period from 1850 to the present.

British newspapers include a good file of the London Chronicle (1757-98), the London Times (1785- ), the Manchester Guardian (1929- ), and others. A special collection of interest includes issues which appeared during the general strike of 1926.

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Continental European newspapers are less numerous, and the files less complete. There are generally representative files beginning about 1900 from most nations. Many others were added at the beginning of World War I, such as the Frankfurter Zeitung und Handelsblatt (1900-43). The incomplete file of the Paris Journal des débats covers the periods 1814-26, 1841-68, 1879-87, and 1892-1942. Files of other important titles are substantial although frequently incomplete. There is an interesting group of newspapers from all belligerent countries during the period of World War I. Among titles now received are Figaro (1880- , incomplete) from Paris, and the Swiss Neue Zürcher Zeitung (1900-09; 1914- ). The famous La Prensa of Argentina is available in a complete run beginning in 1869, and there are copies of Mexico's El Universal (1933- ), and the Diario de Centro America (1949- ) from Guatemala.

Catalog and Special Indexes and Files

The catalog of the Newspaper Collection follows a regional arrangement in three main sections: the United States by state; New York City; and foreign countries. There are few subject entries in the catalog, which is primarily an alphabetical listing by title. Cards for materials in various divisions of the Research Libraries are also filed, however, including those from the Rare Book, Economic and Public Affairs, and Slavonic Divisions; and for items in the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago.

Among the special indexes and files in the Newspaper Collection are the following:

Columnists File.

An index arranged alphabetically by name of columnists, giving such information as the type or title of newspaper column written, names of newspapers in which it appeared, etc. (inactive, 1 card drawer).

Facts Index.

A card index arranged by subject and containing information accumulated in answering reference questions (semi-active, 22 card drawers). For example, under the heading "Hiss-Chambers Case" index cards provide dates and locations for news stories.

Other-than-Newspapers File.

An alphabetical index of subject cards pertaining to literature in the newspaper field (active, 1 card drawer). The titles may be found in either the Newspaper Collection or the general collections.

Vertical Files.

File folders contain miscellaneous information that may be needed either by the staff or the public (active, 3 file trays). There are folders under such headings as "Strikes--N. Y. City," "Newspapers on microfilm," "Library of Congress current list," and "Steiger Collection of German-American newspapers."