Paper of Record® - Building the world's largest searchable archive of historical papers

Frequently Asked Questions

 What is Paper of Record?
 Paper of Record is an Internet archive of full-page, historical newspaper images that you can search for unique coverage of past events. The archive is created from newspaper collections on microfilm, preserving the original format of the paper, but saving you hours, even days, of research time. Now, you don't have to scroll manually through reel after reel of film to unfold history, page by page.
 When I try to view a page, I get a box with a red [X] instead of seeing the page. What's wrong?
 If you see a box with a red [X] in the upper left corner when trying to view the pages from your search, Adobe Acrobat Reader is either not installed or is not working properly. Paper of Record uses this free product to view our pages. You can get it for free at When the download is complete, install Acrobat, reboot your computer, and try again.
 When I try to view a page, I get a blank screen instead of a newspaper image. What's wrong?
 There are three possible causes to this problem.

Does your computer have a software based firewall? Some software firewalls have problems with the way Paper of Record displays images. Try turning off your firewall software and trying again. If this solves your problem, you should check if there is an update for your firewall.

Or, your Adobe Acrobat Reader software may not be working properly. Try reinstalling the Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can get it for free at When the download is complete, install Acrobat, reboot your computer, and try again.

The third possibility is that your Acrobat Reader may be waiting for you to answer a question before it will continue. If you are using a PC, hold down the ALT key and hit the TAB key. Keep holding the ALT key and hitting TAB until you have selected the Adobe Acrobat Reader icon, if it is present. Release the ALT and TAB keys to show the Acrobat window. Once you have answered the question it is asking, Acrobat should load properly.
 How can I access the historical newspapers in the archive?
 Just go to our website at and click on the button marked Search the Archive. You'll be able to execute a search of our current content. Once you've viewed a list of the images we have that match your search, you'll be to create a membership. If you have access to the Internet, you can use Paper of Record to explore millions of historical newspaper pages. Our home page also includes a guided tour of the search process to help answer your questions.
 What kind of newspaper content will I find in Paper of Record?
 There are millions of full-page newspaper pages in the Paper of Record archive, with more coming online each month. The newspapers in the archive include daily and weekly editions from small communities and large urban centers. For a list of current titles, click here.
 How can I use the newspaper pages that I download? Can print or save them?
 After viewing a newspaper page, you can print, download or save it, for personal use only. Because of copyright laws, you cannot publish newspaper pages from Paper of Record in any printed or digital format.
 Why are some full-page newspaper images of higher quality than others?
 Our images are generated from the best quality of microfilm available to us. In some cases, unfortunately, the only microfilm available is either damaged or of poor quality to begin with. This means that some of the newspaper images in the archive will not be as clear as others and therefore will not be processed as accurately by our OCR engines. We are working toward new processes that will help rectify this problem and look forward to bringing you the benefits of our efforts as soon as possible.
 What is Adobe Acrobat Reader and PDF?
 Adobe Acrobat Reader is free software that lets you view and print PDF files on all major computer platforms like Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. The Acrobat Reader allows you to easily zoom in and out to parts of the newspaper page. The most recent version also allows you to select which part of the page you would like to print.
 How do I print part of a newspaper page?
 Click on the Graphics Select button in the Adobe Acrobat toolbar. Select the area you want to print by clicking your mouse and dragging it to draw a box. Then click on the print button in the Acrobat toolbar and select the "Print Selected Graphic" option. The "Graphics Select" feature is only found in newer versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the latest version. Older versions of Acrobat Reader will only allow you to print the whole page.
 I use Mac OSX and Internet Explorer 5.1.  Why does the newspaper page pop up in a new window?
 Adobe has not yet released a version of Acrobat Reader for OSX that will run as a browser "plug-in". You can run your browser in "classic" mode to avoid this problem.
 I'm having a problem with the Acrobat Reader that isn't answered here.
 Click here to visit the Adobe Reader help page for all other Acrobat problems. This page will launch in a new window.
 I have a question that isn't answered here.
 Your subscription to Paper of Record includes email based support. Please send the details of your problem through our contact form. Be sure to tell us what operating system (Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP, Mac OS9/OSX, etc) and internet browser (Internet Explorer 4/5/6, Netscape 4/6/7, etc.) you are using.

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Paper of Record
Building the World's Largest Searchable Archive of Historical Newspapers
Over 21 million images in our collection so far.
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