Black and White and Read All Over (the Web)

Black and White and Read All Over (the Web)

Recently I helped someone who was looking for news articles about a childhood friend. Could the library help with that?

Yes. Yes we can.

If you have ever searched for a newspaper article online, you probably have run into the paywall that protects much of that information.

One way around that is to get a free account to Only trouble is, that is a one-time (and one week) option and if you forget to cancel it (if you’re like me!) the meter starts running pretty quickly.

Instead, use one of MRRL’s free databases that can be found on our digital resources page:

  • Jefferson City News Tribune - You can search on the major stories that appeared locally from 1999 to the present in text form. This is part of the Newsbank database that provides information from newspapers and magazines in the United States and other countries. An index will show the dates covered by each publication.
  • NewspaperArchive - Our newest database gives you access to many former and current Missouri newspapers. Browse by publication and you can see the range covered and the total number of issues available. (Outside the library? Click here to access.)
  • Newspaper Source Plus - Find cover-to-cover full text for more than 40 newspapers in the United States and worldwide as well as selective full text for 389 regional newspapers. In addition, transcripts of television and radio news are available. The Ebsco database has a powerful search form; if you need help utilizing it, contact our reference department. (Outside the library? Click here to access.)
  • Chronicling America - Powered by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, search our country’s digitized historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963. A newspaper directory lets you research past and present papers. 
  • Obituaries from past newspapers are another need, if you are researching a person. Many of these have been compiled online at where you can search by name, state, and date. Or use the library’s family history databases, such as and FamilySearch, to find other vital records such as census, military, and obituaries. Another listed database, Find a Grave, can help locate a person’s burial site, often with a headstone photo.
  • One other resource: microfilm records. The Cole County branch in Jefferson City offers local papers including the News Tribune from 1831 along with census and other records, while the Osage branch in Linn has the Unterrified Democrat back to the 19th century, plus other former Osage County publications.

Our staff can help you get started in researching a person, an event – even a box score. Our monthly calendars and Technology page ( can keep you informed about upcoming database classes, starting your genealogy project, or scheduling one-on-one instruction for specific questions.

It’s just another way our library can help you explore your world – past and present!