09 June 2015

7. NEWSPAPERS & PERIODICALS

Editorial content (concert announcements, reviews, interviews, gossip, written portraits, photos) and ads often help to connect the dots in biographies and live achievements.
The average newspaper hides its archive (at least pages older than 5 or 10 year) behind a paywall, but in a few more civilized markets (Italy, Spain!) the best newspapers share their complete archives online for free.
For 'black' music, if you can, try to lay your hands on digital copies of Franz Hoffmann's, Jazz Reviewed 1910-1967 out of the New England Negro Press; Vol. 1, 1910 - 1950  (Berlin, Private press, 1995) and Jazz Advertised in the Negropress; 8 vols (Berlin, Private press, 1980 - 1989).

7.1. Newspapers & periodicals - international
Although their contents are behind paywalls, you simply can't do without Proquest and Newsbank. You may be able to get access through your (public, college or university) library.

Proquest
Fantastic online content provider with huge collection of newspapers (including the most important African American titles) and magazines (including entertainment titles such as Variety). They've productized their properties in several packages, so watch out what you buy.
Genres: All
Depth: 9
Breadth: 8
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 5
Database: 7
Search Engine: 9
Writing: 7
Interface: 8
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 8
Regions: USA, Global
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1720 - Now

Newsbank
Collection of thousands of newspapers, only accessible through public, college and university libraries, and through some genealogy websites. Also cf. the products of their daughter company Readex, with several collections of American ethnic newspapers.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 5
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA, Global
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1720 - Now

Elephind
Collection of more than 2,000 newspapers (incl. some U.S. university newspapers).
Genres: All
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 8
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 6
Regions: USA, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1720 - Now


7.2. Newspapers & periodicals - local/regional
It's a pity and a shame that newspaper archives aren't accessible for free in many a civilized country (France, Germany, Scandinavia, Japan, most of LatAm). For exceptions also check this list. And don't despair - many state subsidized digitization projects are in the process of being deployed around the globe.
For post-1950 pop, rock, blues and jazz history also check the multitude of American collegiate newspapers (many listed here).

Google Newspapers (USA, Canada, Mexico)
Historic newspapers. One of the worst jobs Google ever did, but the database includes many gems, e.g. a few important African American titles, with lots of articles and ads relevant to jazz, r&b and soul music.
Genres: Jazz, R&B, Soul
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 5
Accessibility: 7
Database: 5
Search Engine: 4
Writing: 5
Interface: 4
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 6
Regions: USA, Canada, Mexico
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1750 - Now

Fulton History (USA) TIP!
Search over 30M newspaper pages from the U.S. (many titles from the North East) and Canada. Surprisingly good content.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 4
Accessibility: 7
Database: 4
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 4
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1830 - Now

Smalltownpapers (USA)
U.S. newspaper archive with 250 small titles (search per title).
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 8
Search Engine: 5
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 5
Regions: USA
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1846 - Now

Folha (Brazil)
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 8
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Brazil
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1921 - Now

Estado (Brazil)
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Brazil
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1870 - Now

Trove (Australia)
Australian newspaper and periodicals archive.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 7
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Australia
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1803 - Now

NewspaperSG (Singapore)
Singapore newspaper archive.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 4
Accessibility: 6
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 5
Regions: Singapore
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1831 - 2009

Timarit (Iceland) TIP!
Icelandic historical newspaper and periodical resource (also titles from the Faroe Islands and Greenland).
Genres: All
Depth: 8
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 8
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Iceland, Faroe Islands, Greenland
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1815 - Now

Delpher (Netherlands)
Excellent archive of Dutch newspapers, magazines and books.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 8
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Surinam, Indonesia
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1618 - 1995

Scriptorium Lausanne (Switzerland)
Swiss (French language) archive for newspapers from the Lausanne canton.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Switzerland (Lausanne canton)
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1732 - Now

La Vanguardia (Spain)
Excellent Spanish newspaper archive.
Genres: All
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 7
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Spain, Catalonia
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1881 - Now
La Stampa

La Stampa (Italy)
Excellent newspaper archive.
Genres: All
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 7
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Italy
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1867 - Now


7.3. Periodicals

Billboard
Music trade magazine. Necessary information on charts, releases, artists, record companies. Note that the Google collection is not complete! The way Google made all issues accessible is disappointing, but when you're patient and work systematically, you'll be able to extract everything you need.
Genres: Pop, Rock, Blues, Soul, Rap, Hip Hop, Jazz
Depth: 8
Breadth: 8
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 5
Writing: 8
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 8
Regions: USA, Global
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1940 - Now

Jet TIP!
African American entertainment magazine. Lots of information (and gossip!) on artists. The way Google made all issues accessible is disappointing, but when you're patient and work systematically, you'll be able to extract everything you need.
Genres: Pop, Blues, Soul, Hip Hop, Jazz
Depth: 8
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 5
Writing: 7
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 9
Regions: USA
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1951 - 2005

Ebony
African American human interest magazine. Lots of information (and gossip!) on artists. When you're patient and work systematically, you'll be able to extract everything you need.
Genres: Pop, Blues, Soul, Hip Hop, Jazz
Depth: 7
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 5
Writing: 8
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 9
Regions: USA
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1959 - 2008

Cashbox
Music trade magazine. Lots of little facts. Hard to tell how (in)complete this collection at Archive.org is (needs further evaluation).
Depth:
Breadth:
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database:
Search Engine:
Writing: 5
Interface: 5
Accuracy:
Entertainment:
Regions: USA
Media: Text, Photo
Period:

Starducine
Database of European (mainly French) film magazines and magazines with film content (incl. many reproductions of full articles).
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 7
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Europe, France
Media: Text (describing movie content)
Period: 1920 - Now

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