Where you look for news that was happening during your story will depend on time period. The following sources cover the more recent news but check the time periods covered by each database for your time period.
1990s-current for most content but selected titles go back several decades.
Articles in magazines, journals, and MANY newspapers, especailly regional newspapers.
Find... old news
Where you look for news that was happening during your story will depend on the time period. The following sources cover a variety of time periods so check the date range to see if your time period is covered. The further back in time you go, the fewer resources that are available in these news sources. For 1435 through 1780, there are databases covering materials from England or "the colonies" or both. Before 1400, your best sources will be books covering the history of the time period. Chronologies can give you a brief outline of major events throughout recorded history--some are listed in another box on this page.
To find additional sources, use LC Subject Headings like these:
Current events—Periodicals Boise (Idaho)—Newspapers History, Modern—20th century—Periodicals
Keesing’s contemporary archives, 1931-1986
Print only, 2nd floor, Call Number: D410 .K4 Later title: Keesing’s record of world events, 1987-current Most recent binder on 1st floor, Call Number: ref D410 .K4
1851-200X Contains images of the pages from the New York Times for the time period covered. In searching this database, it is very helpful to limit the date range to that close to your event. See link below for how to do that.
1881-1986 Contains images of the pages from the Los Angeles Times for the time period covered. In searching this database, it is very helpful to limit the date range to that close to your event. See the link above for how to do that.
1890-1982 (primarily an index to content in popular magazines) Use the Find it button to see if the Library has the content. Older content is often in microfilm, so ask at the reference desk for help! Distance students, remember you can ask that articles physically located in the Library be sent to you through the Interlibrary Loan request.
Virginia Gazette, 1736-1780
The Virginia Gazette from 1736-1780 is available on microfilm. The print index to the Virginia Gazette is on the 2nd floor, AI 21 .V5
Newspaper articles, pamphlets, broadsides and more from the British Isles and "the colonies" in the 1600s and 1700s are located here. The articles aren't the easiest to read... you are reading material from 400-500 years ago, illustrating that language does change over time.
Time coverage for items in this database is roughly 1473-1700. Proclamations, statutes and other public documents, sermons, homilies, literary works (Malory's Morte d'Arthur), almanacs, calendars and popular pamphlets are all available in this database. The statement about language made in the above entry applies here as well.
Searching History Journals
Historians research various topics and write about them in history journals. Perhaps one of the historians wrote an article about your topic. To search the history literature for such articles, choose one of the following databases--depending on your geographic location and time period.
Note: these sources also give information about book reviews and dissertations. You will probably find these sources less useful, although a dissertation does have a wealth of information. If you do find a book review, look the book up in WorldCat Local to see if it is available to you. For a dissertation, look in the database Dissertation and Theses on the Articles, Databases page. More recent dissertations are available in full in the Dissertation and Theses database.
1964-current Although this index covers articles published from 1964-current, the content of the articles covers the history and culture of the United States and Canada from pre-historic times to the present. Citation and abstract (summary of the article) are given for articles in approximately 2400 periodicals (mostly journals), book reviews, and dissertations. In addition to English-language periodicals, 40 other languages are represented. A timetable of events is available through CLIO Notes. See link below for more information.
This JPG image shows where the CLIO Notes link is. In America: History and Life, and Historical Abstracts, a timetable of events is available through CLIO Notes. Find these above the EbscoHost icon in the blue navigational bar across the top (below the web browser navigational bar). Click on CLIO Notes, then [date range] area of interest, then chronology of the time period in which you are interested or a more specific topic within the category.
1954-current Although this index covers articles published from 1954-current, the content of the articles covers the histories of countries in the world, excluding the United States and Canada, from 1450 to the present. Citation and abstract (summary of the article) are given for articles in approximately 2100 periodicals (mostly journals), book reviews, and dissertations. In addition to English-language periodicals, 50 other languages are represented. A timetable of events is available through CLIO Notes. See link above for more information.
If your story is set in the Middle Ages or Renaissance eras (1400-1700), you might find this resource useful. This bibliography covers books, journal articles, dissertations and essays in books covering topics, people and events of this period. There is no "Find it" button in this resource, so to find out if the resources listed are available at the Library--1) for books, look in WorldCat Local, 2) for journal articles, look the journal name up in the Journal Titles database, 3) for essays in books, look the book title up in WorldCat Local and 4) for dissertations, look in the database Dissertations and Theses (under Find...Articles, Databases).