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The History and Future of the American Press: Clip Files (Find Articles)

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Searching the Clip File

Library Databases index and in many cases provide the full text of newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, and other resources. When your Journalism professors tell you to "Search the Clip File" you want to search the library databases....


Historical resources

Subject specific databases of particular use for History of American Journalism:

America: History and Life - focus on US and Canadian history

Historical Abstracts - world history, excluding US and Canada

Academic Search Complete - indexing and full text from a wide range of resources

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 - includes information about women journalists

North American Women's Letters and Diaries, Colonial to 1950 - includes first-hand accounts, mention of journalists made frequently

In the First Person - first-hand accounts of various topics back to the 1500s.

Looking for Articles

When looking for old articles on a topic you must search the resources from that time period. If you are looking for contemporary (i.e., from that time) accounts of Hearst's objections to Orson Welles' film, then make sure you are in an index that covers that time period.

Searching the New York Times Historical File (which covers 1851-three years ago) for example, yields many articles on the topic from that time period (1940s). By comparison, searching Lexis Nexis' Academic Universe (1985-present) will only find articles as far back as 1985.

Use the Databases page to find out what databases (indexes and abstracts, encyclopedias, etc.) the library provides. From the Databases page you can locate a resource by broad subject area using the drop down box, or by its title by using the alphabetical list. These online indexing and full-text resources will help you find more information in magazine and journal articles, in books the library does not list in its catalog, and in a variety of other materials.

Use the Find Early American Papers tab above for more tips.

Start Your Clip File Searches Here

These are the biggest, most frequently used newspaper and magazine databases (i.e., indexes). Start your research here.

Historic Newspaper Collections Online

Specialized Clip Resources

Use these resources to search for clips in a variety of specialized areas such as women's and gender issues, alternative presses, and ethnic news.

All databases

The Library has hundreds of databases covering a wide range of information. Check out the subject list of what is available for you to search: