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19th Century U.S. Newspapers Online

The Libraries have acquired 19th Century U.S. Newspapers, a full-text database that reproduces the content of more than five hundred titles published between 1800 and 1900.

The resource contains digital facsimiles of more than 1.77 million scanned pages in newspapers from all fifty states, some of which were still Territories at the time. Eight California newspapers issued between 1846 and 1893 are included. Keyword searching provides access to every word in every article, enabling quick access to multiple accounts of an historical event. For example, you can read about the Emancipation Proclamation in a January 1863 article in the Boston abolitionist paper, The Liberator, followed by an account in Savannah’s Daily Morning News that expresses very different sentiments.

Social and cultural historians will be pleased to note that all advertisements and illustrations published in the newspapers are included online. For example, an ad for shampoo in an 1887 Detroit newspaper invites women to achieve a “crowning glory” by washing their hair once a week, rubbing alcohol into the scalp “to prevent cold in the head,” and then brushing their hair for a half hour every evening. The advanced search feature enables you to restrict your search to Real Estate Ads, Weather Reports, Obituaries, Cartoons, and other types of material.

Obituaries are easily searched as well. On Monday, March 15, 1886 the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin wrote a lengthy obituary for James Irvine and included “some interesting incidents of his early life in California.” After making his fortune in business, Mr. Irvine purchased one hundred and eight thousand acres of land (“for three bits an acre”) in the Southern California region. This land was “separated from the prosperous Riverside colony by a range of hills” and contained between “thirty and forty thousand sheep and several thousand cattle.” According to the newspaper, Mr. Irvine, “won the undivided respect of the business community, and kept his good name and the happiness of his family in constant view.”

19th Century U.S. Newspapers is part of a growing collection of online historical newspapers covering diverse time periods and geographic regions available through the UCI Libraries.

For more information, contact Rebecca Imamoto, Research Librarian for History and African American Studies (rimamoto@uci.edu or x42639).

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