For many years, domestic and foreign newspapers were collected heavily in various formats including print, microfiche, and microfilm. Current editions were collected in print and housed in the Newspaper Reading Room at Sterling Memorial Library, as well as in various reading rooms and subject libraries. Due to electronic availability in the mid-2000s, most print subscriptions were canceled except for local titles and major national US and foreign newspapers. Print subscriptions to ethnic US and foreign newspapers persisted until approximately 2013 and these included a wide range of languages, countries, and world regions. Many of these foreign newspapers and respective backfiles were sent to the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) where they were microfilmed or digitized through the collaborative Area Materials Projects (AMP). The Library may have incomplete runs of titles because of the sheer number of newspapers available, their unique publishing cycle, and the varying formats collected over time.

Departments/disciplines/programs/subject areas supported

News sources are highly interdisciplinary. They support departments and programs throughout the University.


The Library provides access to current newspapers in aggregated databases and through individual digital subscriptions. Some current foreign language newspapers are also collected in microfilm.  There are very few print subscriptions to current newspapers. Print subscriptions are only considered when there is no electronic format or the electronic is not a viable one for the Library. Historical archives in digital and microfilm format are acquired as subscriptions and one-time purchases. All collecting supports instruction and faculty and student research.

Formats collected

The preferred format for current newspapers is electronic. Most newspapers are available in aggregated newspaper databases. However, digital subscriptions to individual current newspapers are obtained when possible. Local, Yale University, and a select number of national newspapers continue to be acquired in print. Historical newspapers are acquired selectively on microfilm, but digitized newspapers and/or collections are preferred.

Because of the cost of airmail, very few foreign newspapers are currently collected in print. Subject librarians may decide to collect foreign newspapers in print if no institutional access to the electronic format is available.

Languages collected

Most current newspapers are collected in English.  Newspapers in over 40 languages are collected from all over the world and non-English language ethnic newspapers published in the United States are collected as well.

Chronological and geographical focus

Most newspaper titles are from the United States; however, all continents and nearly all countries are represented covering the period 1700 to the present.

Collaborations within Yale

Libraries and departments throughout the Yale University Library system collaborate on the acquisition of aggregated newspaper databases, digital newspaper archives, and all general newspaper subscriptions.

Other collaborations: Yale Center for British Art

External collaborations

  • Center for Research Libraries: Collaborative collecting and consortial pricing
  • Cornell University: South Asian Open Archives and Southeast Asian Newspaper Project