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Subject Access to Philadelphia Newspapers - Research Guide

Available at Penn Libraries

For a list of all Philadelphia newspapers at Penn type "Philadelphia" into the search box for microform newspaper holdings of the Penn Library.

NewsBank National Newspaper Package

  • Searchable fulltext files of Inquirer - 1981 to present and Daily News - 1978 to present

Early American Newspapers
Includes fulltext of issues of U.S news sources through 1900. Penn owns section 1 and section 2 and a collection of Pennsylvania newspapers. This part of the collection includes nearly 60 Philadelphia newspapers from the 18th and 19th centuries. Most notably,

  • The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1834-1922
  • The Public Ledger, 1836-1876
  • North American, 1839-1879

Philadelphia Inquirer, 1979-1980 (Van Pelt Microtext: AI 21 .P5342)

  • Philadelphia Inquirer State/Regional News Index
  • The index covers state and regional news which appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer from January 1, 1979 to December 30, 1980.
  • Certain types of articles such as theater and restaurant reviews are not indexed.

Daily Pennsylvanian, ca. 1896-1984 (Van Pelt Reference)

  • Index to University of Pennsylvania publications includes Penn's student newspaper, the Daily Pennsylvanian.
  • Sports articles, letters to the editor, and editorials are only indexed selectively.
  • Ca. 1896 to Summer 1985 is on catalog cards in the Reference Department.

Ethnic NewsWatch
Full-text access to almost 200 ethnic, minority and native press newspapers, magazines, and journals. Publications are published in English or Spanish. Covers 1990 to the present.

  • Includes Philadelphia Tribune, the area's largest African-American newspaper
  • Includes The Jewish Exponent, a major area paper which has been published continuously since 1887.

Accessible Archives
Full-text news sources include

  • The Pennsylvania Gazette, 1728-1800
  • The Pennslyvania Newspaper Record: Delaware County, 1819-1870, which includes articles from four newspapers.

Alt-Press Watch
Provides fulltext for U.S. alternative and independent newspapers, weeklies, magazines, and journals. Topics include the arts, media and popular culture, business and labor, literature and criticism, politics, government and public policy.

  • Philadelphia Citypaper, 1/2001- present
  • The Philadelphia Weekly, 9/2001 - present.


II. Available in other Philadelphia Libraries

A number of other newspapers are available on microfilm and have indexing. Most of these indexes were created by newspaper staff for internal use. Each has its own idiosyncrasies which can make it difficult to use. The indexes are listed in approximate order of usefulness.

Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, ca. 1900 to January 1982
  • Clipping file, arranged by subject.
  • Primarily from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, but some clippings also from the Philadelphia Inquirer and from defunct newspapers such as the Record, Public Ledger, and North American.
  • Consult Temple University's Urban Archives for more information on these collections.
  • Call Voice: (215) 204-8257, 5750
  • Fax: (215) 204-3681

Philadelphia Press, 1898 to 1912

Public Ledger, 1914 to 1942

  • Index to the Public Ledger covering 1914 to 1934 and the Evening Public Ledger covering 1919 to 1942.
  • On microfilm for the years 1914 to 1929.
  • On index cards from 1930 to 1942. Note that there are entries for one year only on each card.
  • In the Database and Newspaper Center of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
  • Call 686-5431 for further information.

Philadelphia Record, ca. 1930 to 1947

  • Philadelphia Record morgue.
  • Folders of clippings and photographs arranged by subject.
  • Housed at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1300 Locust St.
  • Researchers must describe their topic to a staff member who retrieves the appropriate folders.
  • Admission for students is $2 per visit.
  • For further information call 732-6200 and ask for the Manuscripts Division.

Philadelphia Inquirer, ca. 1960 to 1978

  • Index cards filed by subject in card catalog drawers.
  • Available in the Free Library's Database and Newspaper Center.
  • Compiled by the staff of the Free Library.
  • The staff of the Free Library made cards only for subjects which library users inquired about frequently; thus, the coverage of the index is extremely limited.
  • Mostly from the Philadelphia Inquirer, with some from the Evening Bulletin and other newspapers.
  • Call 686-5431 for further information.
For more information, contact Nick Okrent at