It is said that newspapers chronicle the daily history of life in thousands of cities throughout America.
The history of St. Louis dates to its founding in 1764, and the impact of change throughout those many decades continues to affect our contemporary lives.
Now, archives of the daily chronicles of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch are available at the convenience of your personal computer or mobile device.
Access to historic articles, photos and newspaper pages are a treasure-trove for academics, students, genealogists and history buffs.
The Post-Dispatch has archives dating to 1874 digitized and available in a searchable online format.
St. Louis, from the Gilded Age and the massive immigration to America around the turn of the 20th century, through the world wars and through the civil rights era and our expansion outside the urban core, is documented with daily precision.
Historic movements such as desegregation, the women’s suffrage movement, the Prohibition Era, as well as the growth of businesses, the building of the Gateway Arch and the glory of St. Louis Cardinals championships are uniquely documented.
Local history is alive and at your fingertips. Many large search engines exist, but the Post-Dispatch archives provide the deepest dives into all things St. Louis.
• FROM THE ARCHIVE: Sherman's burial march through St. Louis
And the archives can also be very personal.
Your family genealogy research has become more complete with the 141 years of digitized archives. You can access the history of your family’s birth notices, weddings or obituaries and how they helped to shape St. Louis.
The archives also can be fun, as you might want to see photos of the year your high school won the state championship, when you won a special award in your youth or to divine the history behind the old buildings, businesses and parks in your neighborhood.
Whatever happened to your past friends or work colleagues? The archives might even help you prepare for the next job search or complete a project at work.
Before the new archiving project, such research was time-consuming using microfilm that required going to the library. Now, you can search the Post-Dispatch archives anytime and anywhere you have an online connection.
Here’s how it works:
The Post-Dispatch archives are a collection of 4 million pages from January 1874 to current archives dating to 30 days ago.
The archives can be accessed through a monthly or annual subscription that can be obtained at stltoday.com/archives. The host vendor, Newspapers.com, and its affiliate, Ancestry.com, have archives of thousands of publications.
The database is searchable by name, subject or by date. The online search will display the whole Post-Dispatch page, articles, headlines, photos and ads.
Users can save the clippings and print or save all or individual parts of each page. Those files can be saved for personal use among your family and friends or shared among social media.
The archives also are a great resource for current Post-Dispatch journalists, who will use them in their daily reporting and devise ways to revisit our local history on a regular basis in print and online.
What is old is new is a truism. And now readers of the Post-Dispatch have a great tool to make our local history come alive.