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Research Guides

HSTRY 498: Civil Rights & Labor Movements in the Pacific Northwest: Primary: Newspapers & Magazines

Sample newspaper pages

Digitized PNW Newspapers

In addition to searching or browsing these digitized newspapers, you may also want to use the Pacific Northwest Regional Newspaper & Periodical Index to identify relevant articles. Keep in mind the online version of the index is partial; the complete index is available as a card catalog in Special Collections. If you are working on a maritime related issue, also check the Maritime Labor in the Pacific Northwest: A Bibliography of Published and Unpublished Sources, 1850 – 2012 for citations to Seattle area newspapers.

Newspapers & Magazines as Historical Evidence

Strengths

  • Newspapers focus more on local or national issues and events rather than foreign countries. Magazines tend to be more national in scope -- news magazines (such as Time) and politically oriented magazines (such as The New Republic) cover everything from politics to wars while specialized magazines provide insight into cultural issues and material culture and cover sports, entertainment, fashion and more
  • Commentary, cartoons and letters to the editor provide public opinion information
  • Photographs and other graphics
  • Advertising included in magazines are useful primary sources especially for the study of consumerism, gender roles, material culture, history of technology, and popular culture. Display and classified newspaper advertisements provide Information about local prices, rents, jobs, etc. 
 

Keep in mind

  • Newspapers & magazines usually do not provide in-depth analysis nor do they provide scholarly context for an issue. They really do focus on the who, what, where and when rather than the why of an issue or event.
 

For more information on using newspapers see: Analyzing NewspapersNewspapers & Learning to Do Historical Research Prowling the Periodicals.