chat loading...
Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.



  The library has limited services and changed hours due to the Coronavirus situation. Watch our Coronavirus page for the latest information..  


ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Sample Searches

A guide to all aspects of ProQuest Historical Newspapers including content, searching, and viewing results on the new ProQuest platform.

Sample Searches

Basic Search      

You need to find newspaper articles published about the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

  • Go to Basic Search. 
  • Type Chicago fire in the search box and click Search. (Note: When searching for historical events, think about how events would have been reported during that time. Many events like the “Great Chicago Fire” or “World War I” were not named as such until years after their occurrence.)

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.

  • Select the Document type limiter, check to include Article and Front page article, and click Apply.
  • Scroll down to Date limit and click on the bar that represents the 1870s to narrow to results to articles published from 1870-1879, then click on the bar that represents 1871.
  • In the Sort results by pull-down menu (just above Narrow results by), select Publication date (oldest first) and click Sort.
  • 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 are looking for headline news about the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

  • Go to Advanced Search.
  • Type Kennedy in the search box.
  • Set the Date range – On this date: November 23, 1963 (Note: This is the date after Pres. Kennedy’s assassination.)
  • In Document type, check Front Page article and click Search.
  • On the search results page, hover over the Preview link for each record to view the major fields of the 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.

You want to find advertisements promoting the digestive benefits of cigarettes during the 1930s.

  • Go to Advanced Search.
  • Type cigarettes in one search box and digestion in the next search box. Select AND in the search operator pull-down menu to combine terms.
  • Set the Date range – Specific date range: From: 1930 To: 1939 (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.)
  • In Document type, check Display ad and click Search.
  • In the Sort results by pull-down menu on the search results page, select Relevance and click Sort.
  • 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.

Publication Search

You need to find the front page of a newspaper issue published on the day you were born.

  • Go to Publications.
  • If multiple publications are available, select the newspaper title that corresponds to the date range in which your birthday falls.
  • Scroll down to Browse specific issues and click the appropriate date ranges to drill down to your date of birth.
  • Click the link for the issue published on your birthday.
  • Click the title of the first record or Full Text – PDF to view the article PDF. Once you are in the Full Text – PDF view, click Page View – PDF or Page View (clickable) to view the full page image.
  • Page View – PDF will allow you to print or save the full page image as a PDF. Page view (clickable) will allow you to navigate to different articles on the page with the click of your mouse. Or you can click Next page or a page number to browse the issue.
Obituary Search

You are looking for the obituaries of local musicians in the 1920s.
  • Select one or more ProQuest Historical Newspapers for the region.
  • Go to Obituaries.
  • Type musician in the Also search for field. (For this example, leave the Name of deceased field blank.)
  • Set the Date range - Specific date range: From: 1920 To: 1929 and click Search.