Newspapers from Cincinnati’s Past Are Now at Cardholders’ Fingertips

Written by Tom Moosbrugger, Reference Librarian, Downtown Main Library

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County recently embarked on a partnership with Newspaper Archive, opens a new window to digitize thousands and thousands of rolls of Cincinnati newspaper microfilm. So far, the Library has sent over 2,314 reels of microfilm on a journey to Provo, Utah.

Once it arrives, Newspaper Archive is digitizing the microfilm free of charge and adding the titles to the online database. Additionally, they are also providing the Library with digital backups of all the scans.

Library cardholders get free access to the database with their cards and can access the Newspaper Archive database through the Library website from the comfort of their own home. All you need is a Library card number and a PIN to log in. Users can browse issues and view full pages of these titles or search the full text to locate specific news articles, advertisements, death notices, and obituaries.

The Library began sending microfilm for digitization in March 2019. Some newspaper titles are already available through the Newspaper Archive database linked from the Library’s website. The first titles available online are the Cincinnati Commercial, the Commercial Gazette, and the Commercial Tribune. German-language newspapers such as the Cincinnati Anzeiger, the Cincinnatier Freie Presse, and the Cincinnatier Zeitung have also been added. Check the database regularly as titles continue to be added online!

Meanwhile, the microfilm for our Cincinnati newspaper titles is once again available for in-person research at the Downtown Main Library Information & Reference Department. 

Multiple Newspapers Included in Digitization Project

The Library sent its third microfilm shipment for digitization in October 2019. The titles in this third batch include the American Israelite, the Cincinnati Herald, the Cincinnati Volksfreund, and the Western Christian Advocate. Neighborhood newspapers such as the Clermont CourierClermont SunHarrison News, and the Western Hills Press are also being digitized.

While the microfilm is being scanned, many of the titles are still available to researchers in bound volumes of the printed issues. For questions about newspaper titles and their availability, please contact the Main Library Information & Reference Department at or 513-369-6900. 

The Newspaper Archive access also provides Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library cardholders access to many other Ohio newspapers. These newspapers cover cities from Akron to Zanesville, from Ashtabula to Xenia.