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Research Guides

HSTCMP 248: The AIDS Epidemic: A Global History: Primary Sources - newspaper, magazine & medical articles

  sample newspaper front pages


Use newspapers and magazines to find popular coverage of a medical topic. Newspapers provide local coverage of the AIDS pandemic.  Additional digitized newspapers can be found on the e-Newspapers page. Also check the various regional history guides for additional links to country specific resources.


Many of these databases include information about articles published since the 1980s and so can include both primary and secondary sources. Use the date option to limit your search to a specific range of years. 

Medical Articles

Newspapers & Magazines as Historical Evidence


  • 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.

Searching & Finding Articles

Databases may use various terms to designate the disease so be sure to try a variety of terms including: HIV/AIDS, AIDS disease, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, Kaposi's sarcoma, human immunodeficiency virus. 

To find the full text of the article (if not provided directly in the database), click on the "Check for Full Text" button and work your way through the screens.  If we do not have an online version of the article then request a scan of the article. See the FAQ: How do I request a book/article we don't have? for more information.