Search old St. Louis Post-Dispatch stories (1874-1922)

Hey, family history buffs and amateur genealogists in St. Louis County!

Get out your library card, and check out an awesome new resource:

ProQuest’s Historical St. Louis Post-Dispatch database

It includes searchable full text and full image articles from 1874 – 1922, though there are some gaps.

This is just one of many helpful databases you can search from the St. Louis County Library’s genealogy databases page. All of these databases are free, but some (like Ancestry.com or Footnote.com) require you to search from within a library branch. But this Post-Dispatch database can be searched from home!

I have been waiting years for this. The ability to search a newspaper can help you find all sorts of stuff about a family that you would not have been able to otherwise, when you don’t know dates or events.

Searching by name is good, but you should also try searching by home and work addresses. I have uncovered stuff I never would have found by running through the (many) addresses I have collected for various people in my Becker family tree.

An important caveat: This index was produced by OCR (optical character recognition). The computer has done a pretty good job at “reading” the text. But sometimes the scans of the pages are not optimal quality and sometimes the computer mis-reads things … So, for example, the number “3” is read as an “8,” or the letter “e” gets read as an “c.”

I suggest you try searching for variations. I have looked for “Backer,” “Bocker,” “Beeker,” “Becher,” and others in my Becker searches in order to leave no stone unturned.

And sometimes when a search doesn’t turn up what you feel certain must be in the paper, try browsing instead. ProQuest will let you call up specific issues of the paper and read through them page by page.

Good luck with your searches. If you find something cool, please tell me about it by adding a comment!


Other libraries

There are several other library systems in our area. I don’t know if they all are subscribing to this 1874-1922 Post-Dispatch DB, since it is new. But here are links to some of their database pages:

For residents of St. Louis City:

The following independent libraries in St. Louis County participate in a cooperative called the Municipal Library Consortium (MLC):

For residents of St. Charles County:

About Josh Renaud

I'm the Emperor of the Renaud Empire, which is to say that I'm the husband of a Boliviana and the father of three daughters and one son. When I'm not conquering lands and expanding borders, I'm a newspaper designer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Find me on Twitter (@Kirkman) or Google+.
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