This past year, 2012, I was working on some family trees for friends and came across the Google News Archive list when I typed in a persons name in the Google search. I don’t recall what it was that I was looking for at the time, all I know is that when I clicked on one of the hundreds of locations for that person up popped up this list of old newspapers. I thought I had hit a gold mine of information but quickly realized that it was fools gold, because the list contained hundreds of newspaper but there was no indication where these newspapers were published.
I clicked on some of the newspaper names which I thought might be the newspaper which contained information about Michigan only to find out that the newspaper was from Iowa, or Pennsylvania. The site was easy to use but I wasn’t going to search each and every one of the links to find the Michigan newspaper that I wanted. Then it occurred to me that if I was having trouble finding what I wanted other people must also be having this problem. I contacted Google to find out if they had a list of where all these newspapers came from but they told me that they got these from a third party and they did not have a list which identified the location of the newspapers. I decided that if Google didn’t have a list then it was up to me to create that list; a list identifying where these hundreds of newspapers came from. After some false starts in trying to figure out how best to show the location of the newspapers I came up with a useable chart.
From August until Dec I worked on my newspaper identification project and now I think it is ready to be used by the public. There are still some holes in the identifications due mainly to the foreign newspapers; I did not put exact cities on the French, German, Polish, of Yiddish newspapers because I could not read where they came from. I will continue to refine the list over the next several months so be patient and let me know if you find errors in work that I have done.
I know that Google says not to alter or use their stuff but in this case I am only making their stuff more user friendly so I don’t think it will be a problem.
PS. There are 2440 newspaper titles, 1447 are US only, 943 are Canadian and 50 are other countries.