An excellent starting point for locating local newspapers held by FCPL and other collecting agencies, is the on-line Guide to Maryland Newspapers Featuring the Newspapers Collections of the Maryland State Archives. An earlier print version, Guide to Newspapers and Newspaper Holdings in Maryland (M 071.52GUI) is available in the Maryland Room and all FCPL branch libraries. Maryland Room holdings are included in both of these sources. Out of state microfilm may be obtainable through interlibrary loan.
Original, non-microfilmed papers in the Maryland Room are largely scattered and don’t cover significant consecutive runs. These papers cannot always be viewed. They are generally not available on Sundays and some evenings. Please contact the Maryland Room manager about accessing original newspapers. In most situations, originals will not be serviced if there is a microfilm surrogate.
Microfilm of local newspapers, both historic and modern, is available in the Maryland Room. The largest microfilm collection is the Frederick News-Post. The News extends back to 1883, the Frederick Post to 1910. Effective March 30, 2002 the News (the evening paper) and the Frederick Post (the morning paper) were given the names News-Post. On April 20, 2002 the two were combined into one paper, published once a day. Hard copies of the News-Post are kept at the C. Burr Artz Public Library until the arrival of the microfilm (approximately 3 months). These papers are available from the Information Desk. Articles from the News-Post are also actively clipped for inclusion in the Maryland Room' s Vertical File.
Pre-20th century non-Frederick County microfilm holdings include:
- Charleston Spirit of Jefferson (WV): 1852-1865
- Hagerstown Mail: 1861-1870
- Maryland Gazette (Annapolis): 1745-1839
- New York Tribune: 1860-1865
The Maryland Room holds The New York Times on microfilm, with a print index, for the years 1950-2002. The Maryland Room also holds microfilm for the Washington Post for 1990-2002. The Post often contains articles pertinent to the study of Frederick topics. Post articles can also be found in the Maryland Room Vertical File.
Finding an Article
No comprehensive index exists for Frederick County newspapers. Several published indexes are located in the Maryland Room. Of particular note is the 3 volume series, Western Maryland Newspaper Abstracts (M 025.17WRI) by F. Edward Wright, covering the years 1786-1810. Also by Wright are Newspaper Abstracts of Frederick County 1811-1815 (M 025.17WRI), Newspaper Abstracts of Frederick County 1816-1819 (M 025.17WRI) and Marriages and Deaths in the Newspapers of Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland 1820-1830. (M 929.3WRI)
Abstracts of Marriages and Deaths and Other Articles of Interest in the Newspapers of Frederick and Montgomery (M 025.17MOO) by L. Tilden Moore covers the years 1831-1840. Gil House's Marriages and Deaths from the Political Examiner, Frederick, 1831-35 (M 929.3HOU) does not offer abstracts or full text transcriptions, but provides the actual scanned image of each article.
Other published abstracts, for a variety of Maryland locales, can be identified by searching, under "words or phrase" in the FCPL online catalog, either "newspapers Maryland" or newspapers followed by the county in question, such as "newspapers Howard". Do not forget to look at subject headings for surrounding counties when searching for information on Frederick County persons.
Donna Valley Russell's 1987 work, Frederick County, Maryland, Genealogical Research Guide (M 929.3RUS) cites three articles that index specific topics of local interest. The journal Western Maryland Genealogy often includes newspaper abstracts.
We recommend searching the online version of PERSI, the Periodical Source Index available through the HeritageQuest online database. Tip: In PERSI, begin by searching the term "obituary" or "other" as record types in the US locality section. PERSI is also available on microfiche through LDS Family History Centers. Anyone interested in PERSI would be well advised to read Gil House's article "Perusing PERSI" from the June 2001 Frederick County Genealogical Society Newsletter. Copies of this article are available at the Maryland Room reference desk. We also recommend reviewing the variety of articles discussing PERSI available for free at ancestry.com. From the Ancestry homepage, click on “Learning Center” then “Article Archives” and enter “Persi” in the search box.
Search for article citations back to 1997 from the Frederick News-Post on the newspaper’s website. Once you identify the article you want you can locate the full text of the article using FCPL's microfilm collection. Articles from the most current two weeks of the paper are available on the News-Post website, as is contact information for the News-Post's editorial librarian, a helpful resource for obtaining information about recent articles. The News-Post also has a clipping file that goes back to approximately 1986.
Search the Washington Post for articles back to 1977 on their web site.
A serious researcher investigating any Maryland topic should also consult The Baltimore Sun.
To quickly discover published abstracts and original newspapers held by the Historical Society of Frederick County, you can search the Society's catalog on a designated computer in the Maryland Room. This stand alone catalog is updated regularly. Simply enter "Newspapers" as a keyword.
Don't forget the vertical files in the Central Library's Maryland Room and at the Historical Society of Frederick County. Both are excellent sources for finding historic and contemporary articles on local topics.
Finally, anyone concerned with Frederick area historic newspaper articles may want to consult the Old News Abstracts page of the Mid Maryland Roots webpage. Included here are entries from a variety of Frederick County newspapers, as well as papers from surrounding counties and Pennsylvania.