Using the Newspaper Holdings Guides

Reference 5-12-2016

The Indiana State Library has Newspaper Holdings Guides both online and in print format. You may have already used our online newspaper holdings guide, but I would like to tell you about the print version. One of the more low-tech aspects of the ISL collection is the set of white binders next to the Indiana Reference Desk.

This collection of binders is one way to access our Newspaper Holdings Guides. The holdings guides are filed by county.  I have also included a laminated salmon-colored City-County guide that lists cities alphabetically, and which county they are in.

pic of city-county guide

The holdings guide binders are divided into sections by Indiana County. The counties are listed in the binders in alphabetical order.  In each county section, the newspaper holdings are divided by city within the county.  The county seat is listed at the top of the page.  It is important to know the county seat if you are looking for film that is in a county collection.  County collection film is filed under the county seat.

Here is a picture of the first page of the Johnson County Newspaper Holdings Guide. At the top of the page, Franklin is listed as the county seat.

picture of Johnson co holdings

Over to the right side of each listing of years for the title on the holdings guide, you’ll see the format that the newspaper is in. Most will say microfilm and some even designate who filmed the paper.  Many say “CPR” which stands for the State Commission for Public Records micrographics lab (now called IARA).  We also have several other microfilm vendors whose names may be listed to the right.  These designations are listed mostly for staff use.

There is another designation that may be listed to the right of the title and set of dates: OR.  This means “original print format.” If the paper has not been microfilmed, it may be due to condition issues.  It is helpful if our staff can have 24 hour notice if you would like to view a print newspaper that has not been filmed.  Photocopies or scans may not be possible for bound newspapers if they are in poor condition.  If you need to duplicate a page of the newspaper, you will want to take a digital picture without flash.

If you need a county collection film, such as the one listed to the right of the Edinburg Courier listing, you would need to look in the Franklin microfilm drawers before the other Franklin papers start for the Johnson County collection film.

Here is another example: If you are looking for the Madison County Collection microfilm, it will be filed under Anderson, the county seat, before the other Anderson newspaper titles begin.

County collection film may either have an inventory on the box or it may be at the beginning of the reel. Usually, these collections were filmed by the Indiana Historical Society years ago.  County collection films in our microfilm collection do not go out on Interlibrary loan because they are very difficult to replace if they are lost.

County collections

The microfilm drawers at ISL are alphabetical by city after the first 2 rows, which are Indianapolis newspapers.  The newspaper titles for the city are filed chronologically.

microfilm cabinets

The microfilm drawers are self-serve. When you are done using the film, please place it in the baskets located on top of the microfilm cabinets.  That way, staff can easily re-file them in the correct locations.  As always, if you have questions about using the Newspaper Holdings Guides or the microfilm itself, please do not hesitate to ask the Indiana Division reference librarian at the desk, if you are in the library.  Please also feel free to contact the Indiana Division at (317) 232-3670 or through our Ask-A-Librarian system: