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American Periodicals : Sample Searches

"American Periodicals includes digitized images of the pages of American magazines and journals published from colonial days to the dawn of the 20th century."

Search American Periodicals

Links to American Periodicals

Sample Searches

Basic Search

You want to find magazine articles and photographs documenting the establishment of Glacier National Park in 1910.

  • Go to Basic Search or use the widget on the left.  

Note: The widget will only work if you are already authenticated to your organization’s  account. If it does not work, please login through your organization’s library to access American Periodicals directly. If you have questions about accessing your ProQuest databases, please contact your local librarian.

  • Type “Glacier National Park” (including quotation marks) in the search box and click Search. (Note: When searching for historical events or place names, think about how events and locations would have been reported on or referred to during that time.)

Based on the large number of results that are retrieved, it is a good idea to refine your results using the Narrow results by feature on the search results page.

  • Click on the + beside the Document type limiter, then click the More Options... link.  Check the boxes to include Article and Image/Photograph and Front page/cover story and click Apply.
  • Scroll down to Publication date limiter and click on the link to Enter specific date range.  Enter 1910 in both fields, then click Update.
  • To begin reviewing your results, hover over the Preview link to view the major fields for each record.
  • For additional record details, click the Citation/Abstract link. To view the article PDF, click the title of the record or Full Text – PDF. Once you are in the Full Text – PDF view, click Page View – PDF or Page View (clickable) to view the full page image.
  • Mark any records that interest you to save, print, email, cite, export, save to your My Research account, or to view selected items later.


Advanced Search

You want to compare and contrast medical research and popular advertisements from the 1930s about the benefits of castor oil to child health.

  • Go to Advanced Search.
  • Type “castor oil” (in quotation marks) in the first search field and make sure the field pull-down menu is set to Add Fields + Text
  • Select AND in the search operator pull-down menu to combine items, and type child health (no quotation marks) into the next search field.
  • Set the Date range – Specific date range: From: 1920 To: 1929 (Note: If you do not enter months or days, the first day of the first year and the last day of the last year will be used.)  Click Search.
  • Under Narrow results, to the right of your search results, click the More Options… link under the Source  type limiter.  Select Magazines, Scholarly Journals and Reports as document types to include, then click Apply.
  • Click the + next to Document type limiter to see the list of document types included in this result set.  Click the Advertisements link.
  • To view the article PDF, click the title of a record or Full Text – PDF. Once you are in the Full Text – PDF view, click Page View – PDF or Page View (clickable) to view the full page image.


Publications Search

Use this page to locate specific publications in American Periodicals, search within those publications, and browse the available issues.

You want to find issues of Life Magazine from the 1890s.

  • Click on the Publications link to access this area.
  • Type Life into the search field, and choose Title begins with from the pull-down menu.  Click Search.
  • The publication record is retrieved; check to see if issues from that era are available.  Click on the Publication Title, Life.
  • On the Publication Information page, find the browse specific issues section and click on the + next to 1890-1899
  • Click the + next to any year to reveal links to issues from that year.  Click on any issue link to view the contents of that issue.


Look Up Citation

Use this form to easily and quickly locate a particular document.

You are looking for an article from The Craftsman that was about the dining room being a center of the home.  You know that the phrases “dining room” and “good cheer” appear in the article title, but you’re not sure of the exact title of the article or when it was published.

  • Click the Advanced tab to access this area.
  • Type “dining room” and “good cheer” (each phrase in quotation marks) into the field, then choose Document title from the pull-down menu.
  • On the next row, type Craftsman into the field, then choose Publication title from the pull-down menu.
  • Click Search.