Using Newspapers in your Research
You may already be familiar with using newspapers in your research, but if not, read on!  If you have come across any ideas yourself, please consider sharing them here.  Also, if you have transcribed any information from newspapers, such as obituaries and items of interest for Oktibbeha County, Sturgis and the surrounding area, please consider donating them to this site:-))

Newspapers can contain a wealth of information.  Not only can you search for obituaries, marriage and birth announcements, but you can also use newspapers to learn what daily life was like in the area.  Newspapers are also what linked folks together, especially before there were telephones, so you can even find social events such as who was visiting, who was sick and just generally who was doing what (both good and bad)!

Now you are probably wondering, well, that's all fine and dandy, but how am I going to get my hands on some old newspaper.  Do not fear!  Most states have gone to enormous lengths to find old newspapers and to microfilm them.  Mississippi in fact has such a program.  Before I go into Mississippi's newspapers though, do not discount newspapers from out of state.  For example, newspapers from neighboring Tennessee were also widely read in the Sturgis area....don't forget them!

The best way to get your hands on a newspaper microfilm is to order them through your local library through interlibrary loan (ILL).  Almost every newspaper on microfilm in the US can be found this way.  It doesn't matter if you live in North Dakota and want a Mississippi newspaper; you'll still be able to get it.  It may take a few months, but it's usually worth the wait!

It does help to know which papers and years were microfilmed, so I have added some sources on how to find this information below.  If you are really ambitious, you can even buy them yourself from the companies who produce the films.  This is typically pretty expensive (ie $50 a roll) but it is yet another thing to consider.  You may email the reference desk at the MDAH and ask for their sheet on ordering Mississippi newspapers.  The sheet will give you the names, addresses and phone numbers of the companies who have produced each newspaper roll.

Lastly, we are always lucky to have "angels" out there who transcribe some of these newsworthy items they come across, and I am in the process of collecting some of these also.  If you have any newsfacts that concern Oktibbeha, Sturgis or the surrounding area, again please consider donating them here for all to share.  Thanks!

Where can I find out which newspapers are available on microfilm?

Mississippi Dept of Archive & History (MDAH) Online Finding Aides

Mitchell Memorial Library, MS State University, Starkville, MS

McCain Library & Archives, Hattiesburg, MS

Tennessee State Library and Archives Newspapers Available

Local newspaper transcriptions available online:

East Mississippi Times, Starkville, MS, Sep 13 and Oct 18, 1918

The Choctaw Plaindealer, Ackerman, MS, Sep 2, 1887-Nov 30, 1888

This page was last updated on: February 15, 2007
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