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Updated Chronicling America Homepage

Topical Guides to the Chronicling America Newspaper Database

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Many teachers are familiar with Chronicling America, the historic American newspaper database. It now has a new look on a new area of the Library of Congress website! In addition to all the features that users have long relied on, it has even more search options and ways to access information.

In recent conversations, we realized that not all users have discovered the Recommended Topics pages, guides to “topics widely covered in the American press of the time.” The link to the topics pages is in the left navigation bar of the new Chronicling America homepage, as indicated in the image above.

Topics home page

Topics range from the whimsical, such as flappers, to the more serious, such as Plessy v. Ferguson. Guides can be explored and accessed in various ways, such as by date range, subject, or historical theme. Each guide follows the same pattern:

  • a brief introduction to the topic,
  • recommended search terms and strategies, and
  • selected articles.

Students might browse by date range or subject to discover possible research topics. Reading selected articles for a particular topic might inspire additional questions for further research and discovery. The search terms and strategies support both novice and experienced researchers with historical terms that might not be familiar. The introduction to the topic includes key names and dates to focus searches.

If you, or your students, use these topic guides, please share your discoveries in the comments.

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