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Primary & Secondary Sources

This guide will help you learn the difference between primary and secondary sources in various subject areas and provides resources for locating primary sources, both in the library and on the open web.


The majority of full text newspapers online are found within subscription databases. The library subscribes to the following databases that contain newspaper articles (must log-in with a Fresno State email and password):

ProQuest Newsstand [ProQuest] Full text of 300+ U.S. and international news sources. Includes coverage of 150+ major U.S. and international newspapers such as The New York Times and the Times of London, plus hundreds of other news sources and news wires.
New York Times [ProQuest] Complete run of the New York Times including the complete paper, cover-to-cover, with full page and article images in downloadable PDF format. 
ABI/Inform Dateline [ProQuest] ABI/INFORM Dateline is part of ABI/INFORM Global™ that is one of the most comprehensive business databases on the market. It includes in-depth coverage for over 2,770 publications, with more than 1,840 available in full text.
Early American Newspapers, Series I, 1690-1876 [NewsBank/Readex] Early American Newspapers, Series 1, 1690-1876 offers 350,000 fully searchable issues from over 710 historical American newspapers.
Ethnic NewsWatch [ProQuest] Ethnic NewsWatch is an interdisciplinary, bilingual (English and Spanish) and comprehensive full text database of the newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press.
GenderWatch [ProQuest] With archival material dating back to 1970, GenderWatch provides authoritative historical and current perspectives on the evolution of gender roles as they affect both men and women.
Hispanic American Newspapers 1808-1980 [Newsbank/Readex] Created in cooperation with the University of Houston, this new digital resource represents the single largest compilation of Spanish-language newspapers printed in the U.S. during the 19th and 20th centuries.
LexisNexis Academic Universe Provides full-text documents from over 5,600 news, business, legal, medical, and reference publications with a variety of flexible search options.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Wall Street Journal (1889 - 1991) [ProQuest] The Wall Street Journal (1889-1989) offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue.

Free online resources:

Google News Archive Search results include content from a number of sources, including both partner content digitized by Google through their News Archive Partner Program and online archival materials that they've crawled. Search results can include content that is freely accessible as well as content that requires a fee. Articles related to a single story within a given time period are grouped together to allow users to see a broad perspective on the topics they are searching.(no longer active, but can still search existing content)

Times Machine (New York Times) (limited access) Issues from Volume 1, Number 1 of The New-York Daily Times, on September 18, 1851, through The New York Times of December 30, 1922. Choose a date in history and flip electronically through the pages, displayed with their original look and feel.

California Digital Newspaper Collection The California Digital Newspaper Collection contains over 400,000 pages of significant historical California newspapers published from 1846-1922, including the first California newspaper, the Californian, and the first daily California newspaper, the Daily Alta California. It also contains issues of several current California newspapers that are part of a pilot project to preserve and provide access to contemporary papers.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers Provides access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages. Produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Historical Newspapers Online (Penn Libraries) Site provides a table which lists historical U.S. newspapers by state which are available online at no cost.  List of newspaper archives around the world.

Historical Jewish Press  Contains a collection of Jewish newspapers published in various countries, languages, and time periods.

Union List of Digitized Jewish Historical Newspapers, Periodicals, and e-Journals - List of digitized Jewish publications, many of which are freely available.