Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Ottawa Citizen Archive Online

On 19 June I mentioned that a few issues of the Ottawa Citizen had joined the Ottawa Journal on www.newspapers.com. There are now many more issues under four headings:

Citizen, 8,588 pages, 1915–1941
Ottawa Citizen, 5,812 pages, 1953–2018
The Ottawa Citizen, 1,064,132 pages, 1898–2017
Ottawa Daily Citizen, 46,516 pages, 1846–1897

The following came by way of a tip from Carleton University history professor Bruce Elliott.

As with the Journal one can “browse” by keyword free of charge.  One can search both the Citizen and Journal at once by browsing under Canada » Ottawa and then inserting your keywords rather than proceeding ahead to one of the papers.  This is in many respects the preferable way to do it, because the Citizen is listed under four different titles. 

There are still some gaps in the coverage from the 1970s on.  From 1986 onward the Citizen is searchable (less advertisements, death notices, and photos) on Canadian Newsstream (if one has access to that database, e.g. through a subscribing library). At least the gap between the end of the Journal in 1980 and the Newsstream version of the Citizen in 1986 has narrowed a little to c.1983-85.  Hopefully this gap will be filled as newspapers.com completes its more recent coverage of the Citizen.

There is another gap from late May 1855-September 1859 but (with the exception of one or two issues) the Citizen appears not to survive for that period.  

To view the articles without charge you can take down the references (date and page no.) and then go to the free site http://news.google.com/newspapers and try finding the articles there.  The Google News version has a number of additional gaps (for example, its coverage begins in 1853 rather than in 1846).  Or one can also look up the articles on microfilm at LAC, the main Ottawa Public Library, and other venues that have the films. 

But the simplest way to access the articles, of course, is to take out a subscription to newspapers.com.  They offer a seven-day free trial, but as with most such offers you must remember to cancel your subscription before the end of the week if you don't want to continue or they will start debiting your credit card.  The fee is US$44.95 for six months or $7.95 for one month for the basic subscription or $74.90 for six months or $19.90 per month for the larger “publisher extra” subscription which includes the Citizen issues after 1922.  (All of the Journal from 1885 to 1980 is included in the basic subscription.) 

Newspapers.com subscriptions include access to many other back runs at home and abroad, including now the Montreal Gazette from 1857-59 and 1878-2018 (again with 1923 onward in the publisher extra version).  

Comment:  This is a major addition for Ottawa researchers. It mostly fills many of the gaps in the Google newspaper collection which, for example, has nothing for August 1918, 100 years ago, and completely lacks any issues for eight months during the First World War.

Wouldn't it be a service if the Ottawa Public Library had a subscription!



2 comments:

Dave Allston said...

Wow this is incredible news! Been waiting for this for a long time!

Patti Mordasewicz said...

Newspapers.com is included in the Ancestry All Access subscription, which had a special offer for a reduced rate until, I think, the end of August. I took advantage of the offer and now I'm excited to try and find some family news from the late 19th century!