photo of Eagle quilt
Four Corner or Mirror Eagle Quilt
Circa 1870 – 1900



CHICAGO TRIBUNE Historical (1849-1985) Database
Finding Research Ideas: Newspaper Archives

Newspaper Ads in Weeklies
Newspaper Clippings


     The CHICAGO TRIBUNE Historical (1849-1985) Database is available through ProQuest Historical Newspapers for free in some Illinois college/university and public libraries.  This database has full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue.  The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue.  Note that this database ends coverage in 1985; selected full text of this newspaper is available in LexisNexis Academic from 2002 to present. 

     Other newspaper databases which might be available through ProQuest Historical Newspapers at a library near you are:

  • NEW YORK TIMES                                            1851-2003
  • WALL STREET JOURNAL                                  1889-1989
  • WASHINGTON POST                                         1877-1990
  • CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR                     1908-1993
  • LOS ANGELES TIMES                                        1881-1985
  • CHICAGO TRIBUNE                                           1849-1985
  • ATLANTA CONSTITUTION                               1868-1929
  • BOSTON GLOBE                                                 1872-1923
  • HARTFORD COURANT                                      1764-1984


Interested in doing a quilt history research project, but don’t know where to begin because all the good research ideas have been taken, right?  Wrong! Run don’t walk to your favorite library or libraries and ask if they have a newspaper archive.  If they do, you are in luck because potential quilt history research projects can be found within the pages of these newspapers. Once you locate the articles through the library’s microfilm or bound archives, make hard copies of each quilt-related article you locate.  Remember to write on the top of each article, the name of the newspaper, the date, and the page/column number so if you decide to take your project beyond the “Saving the Quilt Story” stage and into the “Quilt History Research Project” stage you will have the beginnings of your bibliography. 

Newspaper Citation (MLA Citation)

Citation Template:

Author. "Title of Article." NAME OF THE NEWSPAPER Date, edition: Page(s).

Citation Sample:

Cabot, Nancy. “Time Honored Art of Quilting Is a Rage of the Hour.” CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE 22 Jan.1933:E3.

Don’t Forget:

  • To take the name of the newspaper from the masthead, but omit any introductory article: Chicago Tribune, not The Chicago Tribune.
  • If the city of publication is not part of the newspaper's name, add it in square brackets: THE REPUBLIC [Geneseo,IL]
  • Give the complete date, but not the volume and issue numbers.
  • Specify the edition of the newspaper, if one is given on the masthead.
  • If the article is not on consecutive pages, write the first page number and a plus sign: E3+.

If you enjoy genealogy and/or research, consider documenting your county quilt history via the newspaper archives at each library in your area. Remember, gentle reader, all the good research projects are not taken – they are out there just waiting for a quilt history detective, like you, to uncover them.  Happy Hunting!




Newspaper ads are a wonderful way to gather research.  I have used them in the past to initiate or to revitalize a research project.  This research gathering tool works better in communities which have a “weekly” newspaper.  I don’t recommend it for daily newspapers because of the cost factor and the fact that your ad will get visually “buried” in a daily, unless you can get the Life Section editor to take an interest in your project and write a piece about it.


Here is an example of an ad which netted me ancestor contacts, photographs, research information, and an e-mail pal.




 RUSHVILLE TIMES - Rushvillie, Illinois

Research Ad

Wednesday March 10, 2004


newspaper clipping

     Microfilmed, bound, filed, or computerized, newspaper archives hold a wealth of information for potential researchers.  If you read my article in the Researcher’s Corner entitled “Finding Research Ideas: Newspaper Archives” you will know there are stories mixed in there with the ink and newsprint.  Some are just bits and pieces of information; while others are the seeds which will lead to a full-fledge research projects -- all deserved to be documented and saved.

     Since I’m all about the “story,” telling and saving, I wanted to share an example of the kind of stories that can be found in newspaper clippings by sharing an actual clipping. So when you search your local or state newspaper archive or you get a clipping in a lot of quilt paper items at an auction – I hope one of them strikes your fancy and you decide to “tell the rest of the story,” by researching the topic in more detail, because I want you to be all about the story, telling and saving, too.

President Hoover Quilt
“Double Irish Chain Lives On.” OKLAHOMA FARMER-STOCKMAN. 1 July 1930