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Directory of U.S. Newspapers in American Libraries: A Guide for Researchers

About the Directory

The Directory of U.S. Newspapers in American Libraries (previously known as the United States Newspaper Directory and included in the Chronicling America: Historic American Newspaper online collection) is derived from the library catalog records primarily created by state institutions during the United States Newspaper Program (USNP) (1982-2011). This program was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and supported by the Library of Congress to sponsor state-level projects to locate, describe (catalog), and selectively preserve (via treatment and microfilm) historic newspapers in every state, published from 1689 to the present.

Under the USNP, each institution created machine-readable cataloging (MARC) records via the Cooperative ONline SERials Program (CONSER) for its state collections, contributing approximately 140,000 bibliographic descriptions and 600,000 library holdings records to the Newspaper Union List, hosted by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). These data were eventually combined with other databases into the global WorldCat cooperative database.

To create the Directory, the Library of Congress periodically harvests all CONSER-authenticated U.S. newspaper records from the WorldCat service using the Open WorldCat API (Application Programming Interface) and, where possible, matches them up with USNP-created library holdings information also held separately by OCLC. While the data mirrors what is also available in WorldCat, the Directory provides an alternate interface to this information, which is tailored to searching newspaper records and that available as its own dataset.

For information on updating or correcting bibliographic records, contact a local CONSER member (see