This past weekend I attended the Family History Workshop 2023 organized and hosted by the Heritage Education Commission Moorhead. It was a great day with interesting topics and excellent speakers. As you probably have surmised, I do love old newspapers. They are a wealth of information. The Community History Archive includes newspapers that local libraries have digitized. Let’s look.
According to their website, their goal is “Partnering To Provide Free Digital Access To Local History”. The link I provided takes you to a summary page where you can select the state that you’re interested in viewing, or you could click on a location on the map. I like seeing the map because it gives you a sense of where information is available. This archive is focused on newspapers but provides a way for smaller libraries and societies to work together.
Let’s explore North Dakota. I chose it from the list of states. Once you do that, you will see a list of the towns that have newspapers from North Dakota in this database.
While larger efforts such as Chronicling America have more options, I noticed that there were many newspapers in the northwestern part of the state which probably doesn’t get the coverage of Fargo or Bismarck. Little Flasher, North Dakota also had a presence. I had hoped for more in the eastern side of the state but primarily Hillsboro was represented. Anyway, it is a nice way to search for any hidden gems of newspapers. States across the middle belt of the country have many more newspapers. If you look at Iowa, there is a significant listing of newspapers.
A couple of other newspaper resources is Elephind.com: Search the world's historic newspaper archives. I found most of the links took me to Chronicling America but perhaps there are other links that I haven’t found yet. Another worth checking out is Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub | Minnesota Historical Society (mnhs.org). On the “Hub” I like to choose the county and then from there choose the location. That helps narrow down the newspapers to explore. As the title suggests, these are Minnesota Newspapers.
Have fun exploring these newspapers. You can often find a tidbit about the community where your ancestor lived, an obituary or marriage announcement or some other item that helps you to write a more interesting story about your ancestor and their life. Happy reading!
With a lifelong passion for genealogy and history, the author enjoys the opportunity to share genealogy tidbits, inspiring others to research and write their family story.