NewsFinder Tips

NewsFinder is a finding aid that brings together information on thousands of news-related resources accessible through the Penn State Libraries and other sources. These include print, electronic, and microformat versions of newspapers plus news video, transcripts, websites, wires, and blogs.  With NewsFinder, you can search for a specific resource or a range of news resources by title, locale, year, format, language, or genre, as far back as the 1600s and as recently as today. 

The following Search Tips will help you search most effectively in NewsFinder.

NOTE: For help finding non-news related resources, books, or articles on a specific topic, use the Libraries main search or the Libraries Subject Guide for your topic or click on the ASK a Librarian button on the right of the NewsFinder display to chat with a librarian.

General Search Tips

With NewsFinder you can search using a single search option such as Title, Country of Origin, State/Province/Region, years of coverage, Language, Format, or Genre.  Or you can search using any number of these options in combination. Although it depends on what you are looking for, it is usually better to start with a broader search using one or two search boxes than to try to fill them all in on your first search attempt.  NewsFinder makes it easy to add search boxes if your first try yields too many search results.

And if you get too few search results or none at all, before deciding that NewsFinder does not have what you need, try refining your search using the tips below.

Title Search Tips

NewsFinder includes title variations for news resources whenever known and feasible.  Using the following tips will help you search successfully on the first try.

  • Leave off the initial article (A, An, The, El, Le, La, O, Der, etc.) of the title.

Example: Use Times instead of The Times

Example: Use Monde instead of Le Monde

  • Double-check the spelling. Spellings can change over the history of a title as well as varying for different populations.  If you are unsure of the correct spelling of a title, try searching using a portion of the title along with one of the other search options such as City.

Or search again using known spelling variations, such as Centre for Center, Brittish for British, Publick for Public, Currant for Current. This is especially important for older or British titles.

  • Replace hyphens and other title punctuation with a space. 

 Example: Search for Times-Herald as Times Herald

  • Search using a part of the title rather than the complete title, perhaps combined with another search option.  For example, many newspapers do not use the city name in their official titles, even though they occasionally may be referred to that way. Instead of searching for the title Cleveland Plain Dealer, type Plain Dealer in the Title search box and Cleveland in the City search box.




Geographic Places Search Tips

Whenever possible, NewsFinder includes the Country of Origin, City, State/Province/Region, and/or Pennsylvania County as geographic search options for a title.  All of these, except for City, are selected from a drop-down menu. Scan the drop down menus to look for the NewsFinder preferred form for the place name.

Example: Korea (South) is used for the Republic of South Korea

Example: Russia (Federation) is used for Russia

For some news resources, detailed geographic information is not readily available and so this information is not present for every news resource in NewsFinder.


-- Country of Origin

Use the drop-down menu to find the current country name, even if a country previously existed under a different name or within different political boundaries. For example, the Russian newspaper Pravda originally was published in the former U.S.S.R. and it continued to be published in Russia after the Soviet Union broke in to separate countries.  NewsFinder uses Russia (Federation) as Pravda’s Country of Origin.

Select United Kingdom as the Country of Origin for England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Semi-autonomous regions or countries that currently are part of larger countries are listed under State/Province/Region.

Example: Use Country United Kingdom for all U.K. news resources; use State/Province/Region Wales to search specifically for Welsh news resources.


-- State/Province/Region

Used for U.S. states and also as a catch-all search field for other geographic areas that may be useful for researchers.  Check the drop-down menu for search options.


-- City

Use the current city name, even if a city previously existed under a different name or within different political boundaries. For example, Bombay is now Mumbai; Peking is now Beijing.

Search using a portion of the City name dropping the initial article or abbreviation (El, Los, St., etc.).

Double-check the spelling. Only modern-day spellings are used for City.

Search with and without punctuation for the most complete search results as there may be inconsistencies in the use of punctuation in the City name or use a portion of the City name.

Example: Use Landing or King’s Landing and Kings Landing

Example: Use Wilkes or Wilkes-Barre and Wilkes Barre

Broaden your search by searching under a larger geographic area. Some news resources were or are published in multiple cities in different editions or have been published in more than one city over time. The spelling or punctuation of City names also may change.


Date Search Tips

Enter a four-digit year in the From_Year search box and a four-digit year in the To_Year search box to locate news resources between and including those years.  For example, use 1986 in From_Year and 2008 in To_Year to find content created in the years 1986 through 2008.

Use the current year in either the From_Year or the To_Year or both to find the most current resources.  Your search results will be the same.

            Example: Use From_Year 2018 to locate today’s issue of a newspaper


Format Search Tips

  • Print refers to a printed physical news resource. Print resources are located in a physical library location.
  • Microfilm, microfiche, and microprint are different kinds of physical microformat. Microformats, and the equipment to view them, are located in a physical library location.
  • Online refers to any news resources that can be found in an electronic format, usually a database.  These may be the full-format digital reproduction of a print newspaper, born-digital news content, newspaper article text, abstracts of news articles, news program transcripts, or contents from newswires, news blogs, and news websites.  Access to these resources may be limited to Penn State students, faculty, and staff.
  • Video refers to news video available for viewing online.  Access to these resources may be limited to Penn State students, faculty, and staff.


Language Search Tips

Use the drop down menu to select a Language. If a news resource contains content in more than one language, both languages may be listed. The language option is useful for limiting to English language news resources if that is preferred.


Genre Search Tips

Use the drop-down menu to explore genre search options. Genres are used in NewsFinder to help you locate news resources that focus on a particular subject, group, viewpoint, or time period. This is a new feature. It’s possible that not all resources belonging to a particular genre have been identified.  If a news resource covers more than one genre, both may be listed.

(edited July 23, 2018)