Insane - Unquestioning Heirarchical Auto

Newspaper Archives

Just a quick plea for help: does anyone know where I can find good quality online newspaper archives for pre-WWII? Having trouble find that. I'm quite curious to know what people thought about the political situation without the "historical interpretation" that we put on it today.

  • Current Mood: curious curious
I don't know about newspaper archives, but check out the writings on the subject from, plus the "Uncle Eric Books" on WWI+WWII by Richard Maybury. These may point to more primary sources.

-- jdavidb
I'm afraid that I don't know of any free and public newspaper archive sites, and I'm not sure one exists; I have a subscription to Nexis UK through my university which is very comprehensive but it only goes as far back as the 1980s. I think your only option would be to get a pass for the Newspaper Reading Rooms in the British Library.

If you'd like to give me some keywords and timeframes, I can however get you news articles and editorial commentary from The Times (London) because that archive goes back to 1785.
The problem is that I wouldn't know what I'm looking for until I've stumbled across it. I like to browse.

Though I'm particularly keen to know if Europeans really believed that they were heading to war with Germany prior to WWII or if they had any particular opinion as to why. We love to pass judgment on the past rather than listen to it.
Most people - or at least most politicians didn't think war was inevitable. You may find the first volume of Churchill's "History of the Second World War" useful, which deals with the causes and years leading up to the war. Mind you, he's not exactly an unbiased observer, spent most of the interwar years being a doom-monger and wants you to really know that "I Told Them So".
I still want to avoid the histories. I've read plenty of them. I want to read what people were saying at the time, not what people later said they were saying earlier :)
You didn't say "free", so I figure I should point out that the NY Times has its entire archives available online from September 18th, 1851 onward to today. Anything after 1987 is free and anything before 1922 is free, but unfortunately the region you want winds up having some costs associated.

For a few bucks, you can get the articles in that range, and you can do some refined searching for terms within eras and read the first paragraphs free, to give you an idea if you're finding the articles you'd be interested in.
Guardian Archive
The complete content of The Guardian and The Observer from their start till 1990 is available. You have to pay to read the articles, but you can at least search and see the headlines for free, to decide whether it's worth paying:

Many UK libraries have access to the Times digital archive - goes back to 1785:
Does it necessarily have to be online? I imagine most larger libraries have newspaper archives on microfiche.