Here’s where Penn Libraries’ newspaper e-resources stand with two important local papers, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News. Can you say options? You can find the Philadelphia Inquirer in both Lexis Nexis from 1994 to the present and in Newsbank from 1981 to the present. As for the Philadelphia Daily News, Lexis Nexis offers 1994 to the present while Newsbank goes back to1978 up to the present. Both Lexis Nexis and Newsbank are solid search engines so for most searching you can go with your favorite platform (Newsbank has pretty maps!) unless your query requires complicated search strings. In that case Lexis-Nexis would be the better choice as it allows for more complicated boolean logic.
But what if you want to see either title as they appeared as hand held newspapers? You want to see pictures or ads or where a certain story appeared on the page and what was next to it. Here Lexis-Nexis and Newsbank can’t deliver other than giving page numbers and article word counts. Before this month your option would be the Penn Libraries microfilm collection which for The Inquirer goes back to 1969 and runs to the present (we keep the newspaper for three months until the film comes in); same deal for the Daily News except the film only goes back to 1990.
Here’s the news. Now, thanks to Proquest Digital Microfilm, both The Inquirer and the Daily News are available in digital facsimile for recent years, 2010 -2012. Look for holdings to expand all the way back like other titles from Proquest do, such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal –but I’m not promising anything.
Speaking of the digital page turning experience as opposed to extracted text only newspaper files, don’t forget the often overlooked Library PressDisplay (NewspaperDirect)which features the last 60 days of over 200 newspapers from 55 countries. It includes the Philadelphia Daily News but not the The Philadelphia Inquirer.