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About The Boston Globe library

Boston Globe library staff were researching, filing clips, indexing the newspaper and sorting photos on May 7, 1941.

Boston Globe file photo

Boston Globe library staff were researching, filing clips, indexing the newspaper and sorting photos on May 7, 1941.

The Boston Globe newspaper commenced publication on March 4, 1872. On that day the Boston Globe library began the process of clipping, indexing and preserving all articles and photographs published in the Globe, as well as clipping news stories from national and other Boston newspapers of the day.

These clips files, grown to significant number in the years since, are still used daily by Boston Globe reporters and researchers and are an invaluable record of life in New England and especially Boston.

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In 1980, The Boston Globe library became the first newspaper library in the country to create a searchable electronic archive of published stories. In 2010, the Boston Globe digitized the microfilm of the paper from 1872-1980, enabling search of all published stories in a digital format. While the digital archive doesn’t replace the rich indexed history contained in the clip files, it adds to the Globe’s ability to find any story from its 140-year history.

All subscribers to the Boston Globe, both print and online, have full access to this historical archive.

The Boston Globe has always been a very pictorial newspaper and photographs are also archived in the library. The collection contains both published and unpublished photos taken by Boston Globe photographers, news agencies, and wire services. When the Boston Post closed in 1956, the Boston Globe purchased its photo archive, adding to a rich local history captured on film. In 1994, the Globe began electronically archiving daily photographs. Over time, the staff has digitally scanned many of the most requested and historically significant hard copies.

The photographs you will see in “From the Archives” are from this archival photo collection.

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