Search area newspapers back to the 1820s


The Champaign County Library offers free online access to Urbana area newspapers back to the 1820s. People can search for information about a long lost relative, an opening of a store, or a basketball tournament from their childhood. Currently the database includes Urbana area newspapers from 1822 to 1977, however, the library is in the process of having the newspapers from 1978 to 2014 digitized and those images should be available later this year. The online database includes a newspaper from the Woodstock area titled “Rush Light” that was published in the early 1900s.

Newspapers are not printed onto quality paper; the print is often small and the ink smudges. Many of the newspapers were over 100 years old when microfilmed, then later digitized. Because of this, some of the images are not high quality, so there can be challenges to using the online database.

The library is offering programs this summer to help the community learn tips and tricks to conducting a search.

Everyone is invited to attend one of these free programs:

•Tuesday, June 23, at 7 p.m. at the Main Library in Urbana

•Wednesday, July 8, at 7 p.m. at the North Lewisburg Branch Library

Visit the Champaign County Library’s website at to access the online newspapers and learn more about library services. For more information, call the library at 937-653-3811.

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