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How Do I Find Historical Journal, Magazine and Newspaper Articles?

Historical Articles


This is a selective list of general and multidisciplinary indexing or full text sources for articles in journals, magazines and newspapers published before 1950. All sources are available either online (most are McMaster use only) or in Mills Memorial Library.

Journals and Magazines

BHI (British Humanities Index) / Subject Index to Periodicals, 1915 to present

  • 1915–1961: paper, under the title Subject Index to Periodicals; MILLS Reference (2nd Floor) ZAI 3 .S94
  • 1962–present: online, under the title BHI
  • Indexes and abstracts 688,600 articles from 320 internationally respected humanities journals and weekly magazines published in the UK and other English speaking countries, and quality newspapers published in the UK. Major areas of coverage include: antiques, architecture, archaeology, art, cinema, current affairs, economics, education, environment, foreign affairs, gender studies, history, language, law, linguistics, literature, music, painting, philosophy, poetry, political science, religion and theatre.

Comprehensive Index to English-Language Little Magazines, 1890 to 1970

  • paper: MILLS Reference (2nd floor) ZPN 4836 .S23
  • Author index to 100 "little magazines" (small literary magazines) covering 80 years. Each item is classified as fiction, poetry, etc. Sixty percent of the titles indexed are from the United States; the rest are from Great Britain and Ireland. Little magazines usually publish short stories, poetry and essays along with literary criticism, book reviews, biographical profiles of authors, interviews and letters.

CPI.Q / Canadian Periodical Index, 1920 to present

  • 1920–1996: paper, under the title Canadian Periodical Index; MILLS Reference (2nd floor) ZAI 3 .C36
  • 1983–present: online, under the title CPI.Q
  • The online version covers about 1.8 million articles from nearly 700 Canadian journals and magazines (English and French). In full text are 165 periodicals from 1983 to the present, and selected sections of the Globe and Mail newspaper (Toronto) from 1997 to the present. Covers a broad range of subjects including current events, health, technology, the arts, history, literature, culture and business; emphasis is on mainstream and academic titles available in Canadian libraries.

Cumulated Magazine Subject Index, 1907 to 1949

  • paper: MILLS Reference (2nd floor) ZAI 3 .C97
  • Published in Boston by G.K. Hall; indexes periodicals not included in other indexes. Good for history, especially local history, outdoor subjects, library science (1918-49), and fine arts.

Early Canadiana Online (ECO), 16th to early 20th century

  • A digital library providing access to 2,253,727 pages of Canada's printed heritage, it features works published from the time of the first European settlers up to the early 20th Century.

Index to Pre 1900 English Language Canadian Cultural and Literary Magazines

  • Available online only on public computers in Mills, Innis and Thode libraries, via a CD ROM network; 1 concurrent user.
  • to access, click Start > Programs
  • guide (paper): MILLS Reference (2nd Floor) ZAP 5 .V56 1994
  • An index to 190 early Canadian magazines. Contents deal mainly with cultural, intellectual, and literary concerns. Each entry identifies a particular article, poem, story, illustration or editorial. Magazines covered include The Nova Scotia Magazine, The Literary Garland and New Dominion Monthly to name just a few. Many shorter-run magazines are also covered, as well as most university monthly publications. Mills Library holds many of these titles.

International Index to Periodicals / Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. Supplement, 1907 to 1955

  • paper: MILLS Reference (2nd floor) ZAI 3 .I61
  • 1907–1919 under title Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. Supplement.
  • 1920–1955 under title International Index to Periodicals
  • an author/subject index to 189 scholarly English language journals

Internationale Bibliographie der Zeitschriftenliteratur / International Bibliography of Periodical Literature Covering All Fields of Knowledge, 1861 to 1996

  • paper (title varies; some missing issues): MILLS Periodicals (3rd floor) ZAI 9 .I55
  • Covers basic research from all fields of knowledge, and is particularly strong in the humanities and the social sciences. Indexes a significant proportion of the periodicals published on the European continent.

JSTOR, 19th century to 3–5 years ago (varies by title)

  • JSTOR collections provide access to a digital archive of journals in the areas of arts, business, economics, and sciences; it includes the entire runs of these journals, from the first issue (some as far back as 1866) to volumes published a few years ago. It is a backfile collection and excludes the most recent issues (as part of the terms of the agreement with the journal publishers). Each journal has a "moving wall" of three to five years after which current issues are added.

Libris Canadiana, 1867 to 1978 (varies by title)

  • The Libris database provides word, title, author and subject access to material published in a number of Canadian periodicals of historical significance, including Maclean's Magazine, The Financial Post, The Monetary Times of Canada, Massey's Magazine, The Canadian Bookman, The Canadian Magazine, Saturday Night and The University Magazine.

Magazines on Google Books

  • LIFE Magazine's entire run as a weekly: over 1,860 issues, covering the years from 1936 to 1972
  • other titles include New York Magazine, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics and Ebony
  • to do a search limited to magazines, use the Google Books Advanced Search, and beside "Content" limit to "magazines"
  • more info at the Official Google Blog

Making of America

  • a digital library of primary sources in 19th-century American social history from the antebellum period through Reconstruction
  • sources include journals, monographs, Civil War documents
  • currently, 2 separate collections are hosted at two universities:

Nineteenth Century Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, 1890 to 1922

  • paper: MILLS Reference (2nd floor) ZAI 3 .N71
  • Provides subject, author, and title indexing to over 50 English and American periodicals. Includes some titles not found in Poole's (below).

Poole's Index to Periodical Literature, and Supplement, 1802 to 1907

  • paper: MILLS Reference (2nd floor) ZAI 3 .P82
  • Indexes 482,000 articles in 479 British and American periodicals. Focuses on cultural and intellectual life in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, and Supplement, 1900 to 1982

  • paper: MILLS Reference (2nd floor) ZAI 3 .R28
  • Supplement, 1907 to 1919: MILLS Reference (2nd floor) ZAI 3 .I61
  • Indexes and abstracts articles of at least 125 words from the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and Canada. Covers current events, business, fashion, politics, crafts, food, education, sports, history, and science.

Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824 to 1900

  • paper: MILLS Reference (2nd floor) ZAP 4 .H6
  • Indexes 43 leading journals of the 19th century, published in the British Isles. The vast majority of articles written for Victorian periodicals were published anonymously, or under pseudonyms. The Wellesley Indexidentifies the authors of articles within 45 major Victorian periodicals, and provides a bibliography for each contributor. The introductions to each volume contain information on the history of each periodical.


17th & 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers, 1604-1804 (varies by title)

  • Search and read full page and article images (PDF) of 17th and 18th century English news media (i.e., pamphlets, proclamations, newsbooks & newspapers).

19th Century British Library Newspapers, 1800-1913 (varies by title)

  • Search and read full page and article images (PDF) of selected newspapers from nineteenth-century Britain.

19th Century U.S. Newspapers, 1800-1899 (varies by title)

  • Search and read full page and article images (PDF) from nearly 400 nineteenth century American newspapers

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, 1836-1922

  • Search and read newspaper pages from 1836-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present

Globe and Mail, May 2, 1844 to 4 years ago

  • Full-page archive of the Globe and Mail newspaper. Coverage includes all stories, images, advertisements, classifieds, political cartoons, births and deaths from more than 1.4 million pages dating back to the pre-confederation era ; 4 concurrent users.

New York Times, September 18, 1851 to 3 months ago

  • Full page and article images (PDF) with searchable full-text back to the first issue.

ProQuest News and Newspapers, 1840s to 2010s

  • Search the full-text of 4 historical newspapers simultaneously, Globe & Mail, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Provides full page and article images (PDF).

Sunday Times Digital Archive,1822-2006

  • Provides full page and article images (PDF) with searchable full-text of the Sunday Times.

The Times Digital Archive 1785-2019

  • Complete digital edition of The Times (London), using keyword searching and hit-term highlighting to retrieve full facsimile images of either a specific article or a complete page. The entire newspaper is captured, with all articles, advertisements and illustrations/photos divided into categories to facilitate searching; 2 concurrent users.

Times Literary Supplement, 1902-2016

  • Provides full page and article images (PDF) with searchable full-text of the Times Literary Supplement (TLS).

Wall Street Journal, July 8, 1889 to 3 months ago

  • Full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue.

Washington Post, Dec. 12, 1877 to 3 months ago

  • Full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue.
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