Newspapers as a research tool: Home

An introduction to using newspapers for research

Selected Newspaper Search Engines

Several daily papers, both local and national, are available for free to students Monday through Friday during the school year as part of the ASUU-sponsored Collegiate Readership Program, in boxes scattered around the campus.  At the entrances of the Marriott Library you can pick up

  • The Salt Lake Tribune
  • Deseret News
  • The New York Times
  • USA Today

Back issues of those same four papers can be found at the Reserve Desk on Level 2 of the Marriott Library going back four weeks.  Access to older issues of these newspapers (and others) requires access to the internet or a microfilm reader.

Most newspapers today have a website, and most support at least limited searching and retrieval of results from recent issues, sometimes going back several years.  Often this requires you to register and/or pay for each article retrieved.

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Why Use Newspapers?

Newspapers have unique qualities that make them a great source to find:

  • In-depth coverage of a particular country, state or city
  • Reporting on activities of state and local government
  • Obituaries and other genealogical information
  • Eyewitness accounts of events
  • Editorial analysis of news and events
  • Up-to-date coverage of breaking news
  • Historic research in news archives

Why use Newspaper databases?

Most newspapers have websites with news and historical archives. However, the Marriott Library subscribes to a number of newspaper databases that offer advantages over searching newspapers directly on the Web:

  • Search more than one newspaper at the same time
  • Powerful keyword search engines
  • Deep historic news archives
  • Access to content that costs money on the Web
  • Find newspapers from a specific region or country

Here is a list of Marriott Library newspaper databases.

Why use newspaper websites?

Be aware that newspaper websites sometimes have content that is not in subscription databases

  • Breaking news stories
  • Extra content such as blogs, info-graphics, videos, etc.
  • Access to newspapers that aren't in Marriott Library databases.


These articles describe the role of newspapers in the information cycle.

For assistance

Robert Behra's picture
Robert Behra
Faculty Services Coordinator
Research and User Services
J. Willard Marriott Library
The University of Utah
295 S 1500 E
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0860

Office: 2110K

fax: 801-581-3464

How People Learn About Their Local Communities

Newspapers play a much bigger role in people’s lives than many may realize. Newspapers (both the print and online versions, though primarily print) rank first or tie for first as the source people rely on most for 11 of the 16 different kinds of local information asked about—more topics than any other media source.

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