I recently received an email from nanowrimo nudging me to start preparing for this year’s novel. I have had my idea since April and decided to start doing some research. After coming up with very little on the internet, I found myself longing for easy access to world newspapers.
At my local library’s website, in the digital library section, I clicked on magazines and newspapers. In that list I found Google News Archive . You do not need to be logged into the library to access the archive.
If you type a topic into the search bar at the top of the page, you get a list of related articles from their thousands of scanned newspapers.
This morning, I asked a friend what he wanted to read about and he wanted to see the original article about the flying disc found in Roswell, NM in 1947. I typed in 1947 flying disc and got a bunch of recent articles about debunking the Roswell find, so I tried again.
This time I only typed flying disc which brought up The Independent, St. Petersburg, Florida, Wednesday, July 9, 1947. The headline read “‘Flying Disc’ in New Mexico Turns Out To Be Army Weather Device.”
After reading the article, my friend said, “After all these years, now I’m finally convinced.” Wink. Wink.
And the fun did not stop there. Just one column over, there was a small article about how UFO fever spread to Iran. Bright lights were seen in the sky that then exploded (secret weapons test?).
A blurb next to that said “Pennsylvanians Here” and went on to give the names of a couple and their children that came into town on the train and included the address where they would be staying. Next to that was another blurb entitled “No General Name” which informed me that the Tunguses of Siberia do not have a word for reindeer, but like the Eskimos and snow, have many words for specific types of reindeer like tame reindeer, wild reindeer and young reindeer.
I continued exploring this one day in 1947 and found:
- Instructions on how to iron three different kinds of rayon
- A wedding announcement for a couple married in Seattle
- Lists of names of people staying at hotels and resorts
- More announcements with names and addresses of people visiting
- A picture of two girls at the piano with the headline “Cousins Enjoying Visit Together”
- A fraternal order I had never heard of: the Knights of Pythias
- the vitamins in cantaloupe are A and C
- sauerkraut juice is good with dinner
- The schedule for radio shows
- Movie ads
Then I found “Husband Held in Los Angeles Silk Stocking Murder” that after talking about Mrs. Mondragon being strangled with a silk stocking lumps in the fact that she is the eighth woman brutally murdered in six months in LA including The Black Dalia. Honestly, this day in 1947 has everything.
I foraged only one day of one newspaper. Imagine what you can do with thousands of days of tens of thousands of newspapers. I hope you find this resource as exciting as I do.
Happy reading, writing and exploring!