Decent news archives - where?
March 15, 2007 7:09 AM   Subscribe

Is there a source of just general national (U.S.) stories from the AP and Reuters wires, spanning roughly the 1980s-2000s? Plaintext news is needed.

The problem is most of the sources I checked use cumbersome PDFs (Proquest,, etc). This makes it extremely difficult to browse through a lot of articles quickly.

The closest I can find are:

(1) Seattle Post Intelligencer (, which is fairly good and, amazingly, free, but misses some of the national news.

(2) Google News, where I can get a snippet of a story but eeeeeevvverrythiing is on a messy pay-per-article system.

(3) Washington Post and USA Today are good candidates but are part of the racket where EVERYTHING is on a pay-per-article basis.

Ugh. Might any archive-savvy people here know some sources I might have overlooked? I'm only looking for GENERAL national news stories by date... nothing special.
posted by calhound to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
When I was in college, the statistical natural language people had a couple of "corpora" of news stories. I remember one was many years of the new york times. Anyway, point being: these things exist, in plain text (There are also text-with-tags corpora marking say parts of speech) and computer scientists or academics might be good people to talk to.
posted by jeb at 7:15 AM on March 15, 2007

You might be able to get free Nexis Lexis access through your library, I think it's got what you're looking for.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 7:38 AM on March 15, 2007

I second the library suggestion. YMMV but my home town library allows using them as a proxy server to get at all the relevant databases.
posted by toomuch at 7:46 AM on March 15, 2007

Lexis Nexis. Factiva is also great. But yes, call or go into your local library and they should be able to hook you up (tell you how you can do it online from your home). I don't know if you can truly browse through any of these though. You might be able to configure a dummy search to get what you need though. E-Library is another option, and while I'm pretty sure you can browse through it, I don't know if it will let you browse in the manner you describe.

Basically, contact your local library. You can probably chat with them online immediately.
posted by cashman at 7:46 AM on March 15, 2007

Response by poster: OK, I got a login from my library and got access to some decent newspaper databases.

Interestingly I found that you can do searches for articles on CNN through Google like this, though for the life of me I can't figure out WHERE the search engines are finding this content. CNN seems to only access their archive through a simple search query and I have no idea how to filter it by date. Their website doesn't make any sense.
posted by calhound at 11:40 AM on March 15, 2007

« Older MeFi US Tour '07   |   Where to Put Up Job Ads in Ft. Lauderdale Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.