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HIST 203 - Canada Since 1867

Historical Newspapers

Newspaper articles are very useful sources for historical events and situations.  They were often produced by reporters who had access to eyewitness accounts not otherwise accessible today. 

Newspaper articles are usually not long nor are they published separately.  This material is best found through searchable digitized archives or logical inferences (i.e. if an article appeared in one newspaper where else was another article likely to have appeared on the same day, or shortly thereafter?).  Newspapers have not always attempted the modern appearance of objectivity; hence comparing several accounts of the same occurrence in different newspapers may be both revealing and necessary.

In contrast to magazines, which appear weekly, monthly or quarterly, successive accounts in daily newspapers will often enable the historian to watch a story unfold, as it would have appeared to the contemporary participant or onlooker.

Footnotes in modern secondary works, particularly in articles or sections of books dealing with contemporary social or political reactions to events, are also a useful source for finding references to contemporary newspaper articles. 

While Canadian newspapers are the obvious target of this section, remember that not all Canadian history happened in Canada.  For example, an article in the Times of London about Canadian involvement in a World War I battle in Belgium, or in the New York Times about the Fenian raids, might be very relevant.

Look in these indexes to find contemporary newspaper articles in electronic format:


Individual newspapers


National collections


Provincial collections


Other guides

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