If you’ve consulted our guide to Newspapers and felt overwhelmed by the choices and mysterious names (LexisNexis? Access World News? Press Display?) here are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your newspaper searches.

Current: Both LexisNexis and Access World News have full-text, current content of thousands of local, national, and international newspapers. Full-text is in HTML so unfortunately, there are no images. Section and page numbers orient searchers to their article’s importance. An article on p. A1 will be on the front page of section A. Press Display provides full images of U.S. and international papers with a 60-day archive. Researchers can also search the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Wall Street Journal and a few other papers individually or together. Newspaper databases are updated so quickly that you can find today’s news, well, today!

Historical: Most of our historical newspaper subscriptions have PDFs so images and placement in the paper are visible. In many of these historical newspapers, everything was digitized, including classified ads. Take advantage of Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to refine your search. A “NOT classified ad” search removes those pesky ads. An “AND editorials” will retrieve editorials on a topic. In the midst of these dog days of summer, be reminded of a happier time by searching the historical Baltimore Sun for “birds win world series.” Will that day ever come again? Want more tips? Ask your librarian!

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