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# Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Selected New York Times Articles Now Free
Posted by Grace

Great news this morning (via the Genealogy Blog): The New York Times has made large sections of its online archive free. Articles from 1851 to 1923 are in the public domain and available for download, and stories published in the last 20 years are also free. Articles published between 1923 and 1986 are available for a fee.

If you go to the New York Times site, you can enter your search terms in the bar near the top of the page and select whether you want to search articles since 1981 or before 1981. Once you have your results, you can select the Advanced option to limit your search to specific dates. The stories are downloadable as PDF documents. (If you happen across articles that aren't in the free years, they're $4.95 each, or you can get a monthly pass for $7.95 that allows 100 story downloads.)

I went hog wild and found a lot of fascinating articles. You don't have to have New York City roots to find good material. None of my ancestors' names turned up in the search, but I found great articles about the ships my ancestors came over from Europe on. (For example, two months before my great-grandfather arrived, an emergency appendectomy was performed on the S.S. Uranium with the E string from a violin.)

You should also try searching for your hometown, just for fun. I discovered an article about a Wellington, Ohio, dairy magnate's campaign against oleomargarine and "filled cheese" in 1894. After his impassioned speech, he raised $150 for the cause in just a few minutes.

Give the search a try, and leave me a comment about your own good finds!


Genealogy Web Sites | Research Tips
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 10:33:24 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [4]
Wednesday, September 19, 2007 8:47:17 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Place-based research, as Grace suggests, is a great way to uncover "hidden" information about your family. Look for our article about this research strategy in an upcoming Family Tree Magazine.

A few articles I found in the now-free NYT articles: A list of hundreds of men enlisted into WWI service and the draft boards where they registered, graduation ceremony reports, and a roundup of federal and district court actions.
Diane
Thursday, September 20, 2007 5:07:36 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I must be doing something wrong. Yes, I can "search" and "preview" most article's first paragraph in the free preview years. However, I am not allowed to read or download the entire article without subscribing. What am I not doing?

Thanks!
-Judy
Judy Mahoney
Thursday, September 20, 2007 6:19:52 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Ditto what Judy said. It seems to be a come on to get a subscription. You might have mentioned that.

Marge
Marge
Friday, September 21, 2007 8:46:58 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
As mentioned in the blog above, not all years are free. The free years are 1851-1923 and 1987-2007. You used to have to pay to see articles from those years.

The non-free years are 1924-1986. If you search and click on an article published during a non-free year, you will be asked to pay for access. (Of course, the Times hopes you'll subscribe. But also, just having people visit the site to do a search means more hits, which helps them sell ads on the site.)

You get a "free preview" of all articles, as in the first sentence or paragraph. But you can access the entire article free if it was published during the free years.

To search the Times archive:
1. Go to http://www.nytimes.com/ (or click on the link in our blog post)
2. Enter a term, such as a name, in the search box and select NYT Archive 1851-1980 from the pull-down menu next to the search box.
3. Click the Search button.
4. In the results list, articles with a blue box containing a $ are paid. But to see only free articles, you can narrow the results by year: On the search results page, click the Advanced link that now appears next to the search box at the top of the page. You'll get an option to add a date range to your search. Choose dates during the free years of 1851 to 1923. Click Search again.
5. In the new results list, free articles do not have a $ by them. Click on the article headline to see a page showing the first sentence. Below it, click the blue box that says "View full article" to open it as a PDF.

Hope this helps!
Diane
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