Update on Historical Newspapers
The horizon for historical newspapers just keeps expanding. Here are a couple of initiatives you may not know about:
From the Library of Congress : Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, a prototype Website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress, is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. Supported by NEH, this rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress. An NEH award program will fund the contribution of content from, eventually, all U.S. states and territories. You can already do a lot at this betasite. You can search and read newspaper pages from 1900-1910 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present (publisher, years of publication, and a list of places with holdings).
Another initiative was actually started way back in 1999 by Cold North Wind, Inc., a privately held company based in Ottawa, that started using best-of-breed technology to turn newspaper archives on microfilm into high-resolution, searchable, digital images on the Internet. Partnering with the National Newspaper Association to create an online search engine that accesses the digital archives of America's community newspapers, beginning with 3600 NNA member newspapers, the initiative became known as the Cold Wind Newspaper Archive Project and was launched at the National Newspaper Association's annual convention in 2002 with great fanfare. Cold North Wind has also joined forces with PaperofRecord.com which hosts The Toronto Star, which claims to have been the first newspaper in the world to have its entire history from 1892 to present digitized for all on the Internet to see and search...and pay for, because it's not free. Cold North Wind has also embarked on an ambitious project to digitize the archives of thousands of newspapers from around the world, some dating back several hundred years. The oldest newspaper in the project to date is a paper from Spain dating back to 1692.
Of course, don't forget about Penn's ever growing historical newspaper resources (right now PaperofRecord is not one of them). You may want to tack up this handy table on your wall (virtual or concrete).