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American History: New York Times

Resources for topics in American History

Exploring the New York Times

The New York Times at Maag Library


Maag Library has the complete run of the New York Times from today’s morning edition back to the very first issue in 1851.

  • A paper copy is received daily and displayed along with the most recent 14 editions in the Maag Reading Corner in the Reference Room, Main Floor.
  • Older papers are kept until the microform reel arrives in the Microfilm Newspaper Reserve located outside the Information Services office in the Reference Room.
  • Permanent microfilm reels arrive 6 weeks after the daily and are located in the Microform Center on Maag's 3rd Level.                                  .
Finding articles in the New York Times  
Enhanced Access Modified!

Starting on  September 17, 2007, the complete back file of the New York Times could be searched from, over 13 million articles in all. IN MARCH 2011 the website modified its free access to full text articles for stories published by the paper between 1851 and 1922. The new rules state:

“Visitors can enjoy 20 free articles (including blog posts, slide shows, video and other multimedia features) each calendar month on, as well as unrestricted access to browse the home page, section fronts, blog fronts and classifieds.

Your free, limited access resets every month: at the beginning of each calendar month, you’ll once again be able to view 20 free articles for that month.

For nonsubscribers, articles from the New York Times archives from 1923 through 1986 are $3.95 each. Views of archived articles outside that date range are free but still count toward the 20-article monthly limit.

Articles published from 1987 to date are also available. The site will still charge for access to stories published between 1923 and 1986.” LINK

Researchers may use the New York Times website or the Maag paper indexes to find the citations for those critical years of the Twentieth Century and get copies if needed from the Maag microfilm, call number Micro film X2000.

Example : You are researching the Ku Klux Klan riot in Niles, Ohio in 1924. From nytimes. com front page, do a simple word search in the search bar, then repeat it in advanced search to get to The New York Times Archive 1851-1980. (Click on the following images to enlarge.)

Simple archive search

click on image to enlarge

The second hit on the results is the article , “Ohio Klan Defiant, threatens Niles”

second item is of interest

click on image to enlarge

A click on the link takes you to the citation page where you may purchase the article, OR

Use the citation to find a microform copy or purchase direct from NYT

use the citation (November 4, page 2) to go to the Maag Microform Center to make a paper or digital copy from the microfilm collection.

click on image to enlarge

An article from summarizes the online index and notes some of its limitations which may still require usage of our print indexes.

Note well: To find microfilm reels quickly, copy the date, section, and page numbers of the article from your online database or paper index.

Obtain the appropriate microfilm reel located in the cabinets to the right of the Microform Center service desk. They are in chronological order. . One is also connected to a PC so that a digital copy can be made. Feel free to ask for assistance at the Microforms Center Service desk.

Maag Library patrons may also find New York Times articles though a multitude of databases such as:

How to Make a Copy of Microform Materials

Copies of New York Times microfilm articles may be obtained from our three reader/printers in the Maag Microform Center on the Third Level of the library. They are available on a first come first serve basis and can be utilized with self service or with staff assistance.
Everything Old is New Again!  Digital Microform Copier Available  in Maag Microform Center
Think green!  Use our  digital microform reader/printer to save microform images of a newspaper article to a disk, jump drive, or e-mail it to yourself.  Most of the one million items in  the Microform Center can be accessed in this manner.  Stop by the Microform service desk if you need assistance or a demonstration.
                                                          Scanning a newspaper to the PC                                                      
                                                                   Scanning a microform image to our PC.