Newspapers and Microfilm Center

1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Open today until 6:00 p.m.

Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Closures

  • Mon., May. 29 : Closed Memorial Day
  • Tue., Jul. 4 : Closed Independence Day
  • Mon., Sep. 4 : Closed Labor Day
  • Mon., Oct. 9 : Closed Columbus Day
  • Sat., Nov. 11 : Closed Veterans Day
View all holiday closings

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The Newspapers & Microfilm Center is our region’s largest collection of American newspapers from the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Over 400 Philadelphia newspapers are on microfilm dating back to 1720. Our collection includes newspapers from major cities around the world, local community papers, as well as microfilmed versions of academic, underground, and trade periodicals from the subject departments. Students and the curious should begin their research process by inquiring within the Social Science & History Department.

Major Holdings of the Newspapers and Microfilm Center

Ethnic, Religious, or other Community Papers

Underground Newspapers

Electronic Access to Newspapers

Newspapers prior to 1923

Every newspaper published at or before 11:59 pm on December 31st 1922 is almost certainly in the public domain, which makes it legally simple for others to scan, store, and make the oldest newspapers searchable. The task, however, is expensive. Some companies, institutions, governments, and individuals have taken on the task. Below is mix of digital newspaper resources that provide access to this work, to which we subscribe or recommend:

Early American Newspapers (1690 - 1922 depending on paper. Click on Newspapers Tab to limit searches to specific newspapers such as the Philadelphia Inquirer)

Pennsyvania Historic Newspapers (1790 - 1922)

Philadelphia Press Index (1898-1912) Citations only, full text on microfilm at the Central Library in the Newspapers and Microfilm Center (1836-1922). This is a project of the Library of Congress, and is free to all. No library card required. The main Philadelphia papers are:

Philadelphia Evening Telegraph (1864-1918) 1864-1871 scans

Evening Public Ledger (1914-1922)

Newspapers 1923 - 1963 Amateur historian and retired engineer named Tom Tryniski has scanned several million pages worth of the newspaper record of New York State and elsewhere in the US. Although his work covers the period before 1923, as an individual he's been among the few to take the legal risk of scanning papers between 1923 -1963. Of local interest are 4 Philadelphia papers:

Philadelphia Inquirer (1860-1963)

Philadelphia Nation Reformer (1838)

Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper (1840-1856)

Philadelphia Saturday Museum

All other papers (prior to 1964 usually)

Newspapers 1964 - 1977

There's currently no electronic access to any Philadelphia newspapers during this time period. Microfilm or major clippings collections must be used.

Newspapers 1978 - present

Access World News News sources world wide

Philadelphia Daily News (1978 - present)

Philadelphia Inquirer (1981 - present)