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Historic Newspapers

Milwaukee Public Library has extensive print and microfilm holdings of historic Milwaukee newspapers, from the major daily newspapers to local minority and ethnic press publications.

Major Daily Newspapers     Ethnic and Minority Press     Alternative Press

Major Daily Newspapers


Online Databases and Websites

19th Century U.S. Newspapers
19th Century U.S. Newspapers, from Gale, provides access to historic primary source newspapers, featuring full content and images from numerous urban and rural publications throughout the U.S. Wisconsin newspapers are well represented, including significant runs of The Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee Sentinel, and Wisconsin State Journal.
Library subscription database. Available for use within MPL libraries and for remote use by City of Milwaukee library cardholders.

Archive of Wisconsin Newspapers
Search or read the full text of newspapers from all over Wisconsin, including The Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee, The Daily Reporter and Shepherd Express. There is a three month delay on issue availability. Papers in the Journal Communications Group are not included. This resource was formerly called The Wisconsin Newspaper Association Digital Research Site.
Historic newspapers include Baraboo News Republic (1858-1886), Evansville Badger (1898-1906), and the Waupun Times (1857-1883).
Provided as part of Wisconsin's BadgerLink program.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers
Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Free Website.

Heritage Hub
Explore your family history with the premier collection of U.S. obituaries and death notices for in-depth genealogical research from 1704 – today. Heritage Hub helps you easily identify relatives, and uncover new information and potentially unknown family members. Includes deep coverage from all 50 states, hard-to-find content from the mid-1900s, and original obituary images.
Library subscription. Available for use within City of Milwaukee libraries and by remote access to City of Milwaukee library cardholders.

See also the Obituaries & Death Notices page for information on some additional newspaper-based genealogy resources located at Central Library.

Newsbank: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Trying to find an old article from a Milwaukee newspaper? With NewsBank, you can find articles that were published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (from 1990-present) and other Wisconsin, national and world newspapers.
Library subscription database. Available for use within MPL libraries and for remote use by City of Milwaukee library cardholders.

Use NewspaperARCHIVE to explore historic and everyday news articles as they occurred.  This collection of newspapers, from every state in the U. S. and around the world, supplies great information for both history and genealogy projects.
Library subscription database. Available for use within MPL libraries and for remote use by City of Milwaukee library cardholders. Library Edition - World Collection
Powered by Ancestry and distributed by ProQuest, Library Edition – World Collection provides online access to 4,000+ historical newspapers.  Dating from the early 1700s into the 2000s, the database contains full runs and portions of runs of well-known regional and state titles as well as small local newspapers from the United States and other countries.  It offers invaluable content for researchers, historians, genealogists, teachers and students.  With ongoing updates and new papers continually being added, there’s always more to be discovered.
Provided as part of Wisconsin's BadgerLink program.

U.S. Newsstream
U.S. Newsstream from ProQuest offers current daily and some archival access to over 250 key national and regional publications, including the New York TimesWall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune, plus newswires, news journals, television and radio transcripts, blogs, podcasts, and digital-only websites .  Wisconsin newspapers such as the Appleton Post Crescent,  Green Bay Press GazetteMadison Capital Times and Wisconsin State Journal, Milwaukee Courier and the Milwaukee-based Daily Reporter can all be viewed through this product, to make it easy to stay on top of real news happening right here at home.  Partial archival coverage of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from 1995-2009 is also available.
Provided as part of Wisconsin's BadgerLink program.

Print Indexes

The following resources offer indexing for some years of Milwaukee's major daily newspapers and other Wisconsin newspapers, as indicated. For full-text searching, see the online databases listed above.

Milwaukee History Clipping Indexes (1920s-2010s)
These subject listings represent newspaper articles clipped by MPL reference staff from Milwaukee-area newspapers (primarily The Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Sentinel) published mainly in the middle to late 20th century.

Milwaukee Sentinel Card Catalog Index (1837-1890)

Alphabetical card catalog index to the Milwaukee Sentinel newspaper, located in the Periodicals Room near the West windows. Alternate formats for this same indexing include print and microfilm (1837-1879 and 1880-1890), both of which reproduce images of the cards.

Milwaukee Newspaper Digest (1880-1881)

016.070 M662
Indexes The Evening Wisconsin and Milwaukee Sentinel newspapers for 1880-1881. The Evening Wisconsin was Milwaukee's highest circulating daily newspaper at the time.

The Milwaukee Journal Newspaper Index. 1915-1917 (1915-1917)
071.7595 M6675
Located at Frank P. Zeidler Humanities Room reference desk. Indexes articles, obituaries and death notices.

Newspaper Index: The Milwaukee Journal (1976)
071.7595 M662
An index to The Milwaukee Journal newspaper for January-December 1976 only.

Milwaukee Journal State/Regional News Index (1979-1980)
An index to state and regional news articles in The Milwaukee Journal newspaper covering January 1979 to December 1980.


Microfilm Resources

Microfilm of the Milwaukee Sentinel (1837-1995), the Milwaukee Journal (1882-1995), and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (1995-present) is available for use in the Periodicals Department at Central Library. These newspapers were published under a variety of titles over their long existence, as detailed below with links to the CountyCat records that show MPL's holdings.



Ethnic and Minority Press

Milwaukee African American Newspapers and Magazines at MPL, 1916-present

Milwaukee Ethnic and Minority Newspapers at MPL, 1883-present

Milwaukee German-language Newspapers at MPL, 1845-1991


Alternative Press

Crazy Shepherd
The Crazy Shepherd (1982-1986) went on to become the local alternative newsweekly now known as The Shepherd Express (2001-present). It was previously known as   Milwaukee Shepherd (1986-1987) and Shepherd Express Metro (1999-2001)

The Kaleidoscope was an underground newspaper published in Milwaukee from 1967 to 1971. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has made a Kaleidoscope digital collection available on its website.

Bugle American                                                                                                              The Bugle American was an underground newspaper published 1970-1978. The paper covered Milwaukee and Madison counterculture, the Vietnam War, treatment of veterans, civil rights, and various festivals. The paper was a mixture of political commentary and cultural content.