New GeneaGem: Chronicling America Tab – U.S Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present

Quite by accident, I learned something about the Chronicling America. I visit the site off and on, but came across a new link on the home page.

Chronicling America

Notice where it says U.S. Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present? I decided to investigate, always hoping that the newspapers from Calais, Maine and Passaic, New Jersey will pop up in digital format.

I’ve been able to buy single microfilm rolls of The Calais Advertiser in the past, but I only knew of two locations where microfilms of The Herald News from Passaic were housed – The Passaic Public Library and the Clifton Public Library.

First, I clicked on that Newspaper Directory tab, seen above and this page opened up:

Of course, I went right to the letter P. The newspaper titles are in complete ABC order, though, with no grouping by states. However, it is possible to enter a page number to “jump” to. There were four early newspapers in the list at the bottom of page 25 and several more on the top of page 26:

I clicked on the Passaic Daily Herald because I happen to know that was the predecessor of the Passaic Herald News.

Now I know this paper was published from about 1899 until January 1929. My family was living in Passaic at that time! Notice the very last category on the page is Holdings. One more click brought me to three repositories that have at least some of the issues of the Passaic Daily Herald on microfilm.

Unfortunately, not many issues have survived. Two of the repositories have what looks like a single issue. However, the Wisconsin Historical Society has issues from 1925-1927 and my father was born in 1926. 🙂

Next, I clicked on the link that said View more titles from this city:

Was I ever surprised!

Look at all the titles that appeared and all of these newspapers have links to Passaic. Eastern Catholic Life is the Greek-Catholic newspaper. As the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel is in Passaic, the paper carried lots of news about Slovaks and other Greek Catholics who were living in Passaic.

The Herald News is in the list, of course, and there are quite a few places that have anywhere from one issue to an almost full run of the paper.

There’s another important lesson to be learned here. Just because you don’t see a location listed here, DO NOT assume that this list is complete.

My other favorite location, Calais, Maine, was my next search:

I had family in Calais by about 1836 and the last of the family moved away in the 1920s, so I love the dates of these papers.

I also clicked on the View more titles from this city and, like with Passaic, got an expanded list of titles:

Be mindful that this Directory link doesn’t mean Chronicling America has the paper digitized. However, this is a Genea-Gem that will probably open your eyes to a lot more newspaper title possibilities for your places of interest, which repositories house them and where they might be viewable.



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