CHPL’s Newsdex Tool Just Made Researching Local History Even Easier

Written by the Genealogy & Local History Department, Downtown Main Library

Good news researchers, genealogists, and local history buffs - there’s now an easier way to get instant access and search within an incredibly rich selection of historical newspapers in CHPL’s collection!

Newsdex is an online index tool created by CHPL staff that provides references, or citations, to where the articles can be found in all the digitized Cincinnati newspaper databases available to our customers.

Get started exploring thousands of articles dating as far back as the early 1800s with Newsdex.

How to Use Newsdex

Most newspaper databases consist of just one newspaper. Newsdex is an index of many Cincinnati newspapers allowing you to find results across multiple newspapers in multiple time periods. Using Newsdex is easy. Here’s a video on how to make a simple search:

Your search results in Newsdex will point out exactly where to look in a given publication for the article or topic you seek. For example, a simple search for “1937 flood” in the Newsdex homepage’s basic search field yields this citation:

This tells us that the article titled “Relief agencies move swiftly...” was published on January 26, 1937, in the Cincinnati Enquirer. Furthermore, by looking at the full citation in the final column on the right, we see “7:2 pic.” This tells us that the article was printed on page seven in the second column, and it includes an image, as noted by “pic.”

With this information you can then head to our website’s Magazine and Newspaper Articles database page and use your Library card to sign into the ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Cincinnati Enquirer (1841-2009) database to view the fully digitized article in its entirety.

Bonus Tip!

One of the most common searches our customers perform in Newsdex is a search for obituaries and death notices. For this search, in the basic search screen on the home page, place the individual’s last name first, the first name last, and enclose both in quotation marks (i.e.: “Doe, Jane”).

A Tool Decades in the Making

Newsdex is the culmination of almost 100 years of hard work by librarians throughout the Library’s history and continues to be an important resource for librarians and customers today. It started as a card catalog in 1927, when Chalmers Hadley, the Library’s Head Librarian, stated, “news reports of major local happenings would be matters of history some day and that the proper indexing of such items in time would be valuable.”

Librarians dutifully typed up index cards for each newspaper article and arranged them by subject until the early 1990s. At that time, the Library’s card catalog became computerized, and the decision was made to also computerize the cards from the newspaper index, realizing its importance. In March 1992, the newspaper index was given the name Newsdex and became available online on the Library’s computers.

Here to Help

Have a small number of articles you’d like scanned and emailed your way? Can't find what you’re looking for within Newsdex? Need general research assistance on any topic? Get one-on-one help from Genealogy & Local History Department staff by emailing or calling 513-369-6909.

Get started exploring Newsdex and find even more services offered by CHPL’s Genealogy & Local History Department on our website.