Newspapers are a primary source providing a first rough draft of events. Since most newspapers are local in scope, there is good coverage of local issues. Newspapers also provide a good feel for the time period. Most older newspapers do not include indexing. Usually you will need to browse through issues of a newspaper to discover its content.
This page includes links to UW restricted digitized historic newspapers and selected freely available digitized newspapers. To find additional freely available digitized historic newspapers see ICON: International Coalition on Newspapers. Additional collections of this type of primary source can be found under the tabs for History by Region and History by Topic.
For contemporary newspaper coverage (roughly since 1990) see the News subject guide.
When searching any fulltext database such as the New York Times you may find the following strategies useful to narrow your search down to more relevant items.
The UW Libraries has an extensive collection of historic newspapers on microfilm housed in the Microform and Newspaper Collections, located on the ground floor of Suzzallo Library. The best way to identify available newspapers on microfilm is to use the card catalog in the Microform and Newspaper Collections. You can also search the UW Worldcat for the newspaper. Printers and scanners are available to make copies.
Selected list of microfilmed newspapers.
Seattle Times, 1895 to present - A419
Seattle PI, 1888-2009 - A329
Tacoma News Tribune, 1869 to present - A3952, A3953
Atlanta Constitution, 1868-2001 - A6747
San Francisco Chronicle, 1869 to present - A3432
Washington Post, 1877 to present - A879
Japan Times, 1897-2001 - A10199
Manchester Guardian, 1828 to present - A597
Times of India, 1861-2003 - A5725
Google News has a newspaper archive search which provides access to a number of past issues of newspapers. Unfortunately Google does not provide a list of these newspapers. The Google News Archive Search finds articles from proprietary newspapers (where you have to pay to see the article) and to free archives of newspapers. To search the Google News Archive use the following search example. You can limit your search by date, source (name of the newspaper, e.g., Spokane Daily Chronicle), and if you want just free material.