Genealogy and Family History

What's in a Newspaper?

Newspapers are a rich source of information for genealogists and family historians.  Obituaries may include a large amount of information about the details of the deceased individual's life, as well as the names of ancestors, descendants, and other relatives.  Newspapers also include funeral notices, birth announcements, marriage announcements, and a wide variety of other articles, photographs, and advertisements that may provide useful details about the life of an individual.

Newspaper Sources

Online full-text databases:

  • Access World News covers more than 2000 different news sources, including the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times) (back to 1987) and the Tampa Tribune (back to 1990).  Coverage for some newspapers goes back only a few years, while other newspapers are covered back a few decades.
  • ProQuest provides access to the historical New York Times and the Wall Street Journal
  • The Times of London archive provides coverage back to the late 1700s.

Microfilm for local area newspapers:

  • St. Petersburg Times: USF Tampa Library (Basement)
  • Tampa Tribune: USF Tampa Library (Basement)
  • Florida Sentinel-Bulletin (African-American focus): obtain from the USF Tampa Library Services Desk (1st floor)
  • La Gaceta (Hispanic focus): obtain from the USF Tampa Library Services Desk (1st floor)

TRAILS is a free online database provided by the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, which indexes the Tampa Tribune (and a few other Tampa-area newspapers) by individual's name for the years prior to 1990.  Used in combination with the microfilm, TRAILS is useful in locating Tampa-area death notices, obituaries, and funeral notices.

Additional newspapers are available to Hillsborough County residents.