Newspapers can provide both clues and background for family historians. Beyond the obituaries and birth notices, articles, notices and advertisements in newsprint can give researchers a level of detail that many public records are not designed to do.
For example, a death certificate for a man dying in 1923 will give cause of death as “farming accident,” and will state the place, time and date of the death. What it does not tell you is that the man was crushed in a thresher during harvest and that his 9 orphaned children (whose mother died six months earlier giving birth to the youngest) have been taken in by four different families in the area. This information is gained from the front page story which features a picture of the 9 children lined up in front of the threshing machine the day of the funeral. Due to the family’s poverty, no death notice appears in the newspaper.
The Ohio Historical Society holds newspapers from across the state of Ohio, from 1785 to the present day. Due to the time that it takes to find information in these largely un-indexed sources, it is our staff policy that we do not research newspaper articles. We can, however, interlibrary loan rolls of newspaper microfilm. A copy of our interlibrary loan procedures can be found at the following Web address: http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/archlib/ill.html .
You can search for newspapers for interlibrary loan using our Newspaper Database link available at http://www.ohiohistory.org/occ/menu.htm . You can search by city name, county name, or title of newspaper. We can interlibrary loan newspapers that have microfilm roll numbers. Any newspapers that are labeled with an “N” number and volume designation have not been microfilmed. Original, un-filmed newspapers are not available for interlibrary loan.