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Page last updated 2020-11-09

ABSTRACT:   The Utah Digital Newspapers website is operated by the University of Utah Marriott Library and consists of scans of newspapers published in the state of Utah.  Their goal is to digitize and post every issue of every newspaper ever published in Utah.  It is free to everyone and is completely searchable, so you can type in your name, or an ancestor's, and find every newspaper it occurs in.  They already have millions of pages of newspapers online and many small-town newspapers are complete now. These have a wealth of local information about families there and their visitors. 
This class will show how to search and download articles from the website.  Some other states have similar programs.  The notes for this class and related articles, all with active links, are posted on .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( of Provo and St. George, Utah.
  2. The notes, and related information in other articles, are posted at , all with active internet links.
  3. Tips:  (1)  To put an icon on your desktop for these notes, or any webpage, just drag the icon from in front of the address in your browser onto your desktop.  (2)  To open a link, but keep your place in these notes, hold down the Control key while clicking the link.
  4. The problem for today:  What is the Utah Digital Newspapers website and how do you use it?

  6. Began in the 1600s in the U.S.
  7. Are public records so they can be cited freely, unlike recent vital records which are not public
  8. Besides news articles, names in newspapers may be in vital records, obituaries, classified ads, legal notices, and many other places.
  9. A helpful compilation of U.S. historical newspaper links is the Ancestor Hunt Newspaper page -- 

  11. Website is -- Sponsored by the Marriott Library at the University of Utah with grants from agencies and donations
  12. Has 3.5 million pages of Utah newspapers online now and working to digitize evey issue of every newspaper ever published in Utah 
  13. The "About" button (top cemter) gives the history and acknowledgements about the entire project
  14. The "Papers Scanned" button (near top left)
    1. Shows newspapers scanned so far - 3.5 million pages
    2. Organized by county in the state, but see the Caveat below
    3. Blocks are 10-year intervals from 1850 to 2020 and bars in them show years of that paper done now
    4. To see later years use right and left arrow keys -- no way to see the entire chart at once
    5. For more info about a newspaper click its title in the left column
    6. Caveat: use CTRL+F (for Find) and type in the name of the newspaper you are looking for since the counties are wrong for many newspapers, e.g. the Dixie State University student newspaper is listed in Salt Lake County and the Brigham Young University student newspaper is listed in Box Elder County.

  16. Help button -- gives info on how to search and how to download information
  17. Text is searchable due every page being OCR'd (Optical Character Recognized) -- OCR is mostly, but not entirely accurate 
  18. Use quotes to find exact expressions, e.g. Eldon Snow finds 1000s of hits, but "Eldon Snow"finds the words in that order
  19. Be sure to try variants of the name, e.g. "Eldon Snow", "Eldon S. Snow", "Eldon Stafford Snow", "Snow, Eldon", etc.
  20. You can browse any papers that you want to and this will give you information about that area. 


  21. It's usually helpful to download the pdf of the entire page, so you can work with it to clip the article you want on your own computer. 
  22. Long articles can be cut into pieces and placed side-by-side -- see notes and articles on my website about how to do this
  23. Labeling articles -- use a system so you can find it on your computer - My system is SurnameGivenNames(BirthYear-DeathYear)- DateOfEventOrArticle-[Keywords]-[SourceOfArticle]-DateDownloaded. [ext]; dates are written in International Date Format YYYY-MM-DD so they sort chronologically -- see details in other notes on my webpage

  25. If you ever lived in Utah or had relatives that did, try searching for them, since most people will be mentioned in some newspaper somewhere.
  26. Newspapers are major sources of public information, including vital records, since newspapers are public and official vital records are not.

  27. Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page or Don's Class Listings Page .