Digital Resources

Beyond’s collection database, library catalog, and variety of resources available onsite in the Research Library, there are additional digital resources available to the public. Use the links below to jump down the page to our additional digital offerings. Users can also scroll down to view all offers together.

Digital Newspapers
Lancaster City & County Directories, 1843-1922
Manuscript Finding Aids
Oral Histories
Research Guides

Digital Newspapers

Various Lancaster County newspapers have been digitized and are available for free online. Below you will find the digital newspapers offers online, as well as additional newspapers digitized by other organizations in the county.

The Columbia Spy

The Columbia Spy began publication June 17, 1830, with John L. Boswell as the editor and publisher. 22-year old Boswell came to Columbia from Hartford, Connecticut, where he served an apprenticeship with The Courant. The paper was allegedly name "Spy" to reflect the strong anti-slavery sentiment in the community. More history about the Columbia Spy's early days can be found in the article "John L. Boswell and The Columbia Spy" by Robert L. Goodell.

The Intelligencer Journal

Digitization of the Civil War years (1848-1871) of The Intelligencer Journal was completed as part of Penn State University Libraries' Pennsylvania Newspaper Project, creating the Pennsylvania Civil War Era Newspaper Collection.

The Lancaster Examiner & Herald

The Lancaster Examiner & Herald began publication as The Lancaster Examiner in 1830 and merged with the Anti-Masonic Herald in 1834. It was published weekly in Lancaster, PA during the middle of the 19th century, and continued publication as The Lancaster Examiner at least as late as December 1891. By digitizing the years 1834-1872, provides the public with a view of politics and events of this tumultuous period in American history that balances the perspective of The Intelligencer Journal.

The Lancaster Farmer

As part of a mass digitization collaborative with Lyrasis, digitized its complete run of The Lancaster Farmer, spanning the years 1869 to 1884 (Volumes 1-16). The Farmer began publication as a monthly journal in 1869 under the auspices of the Lancaster County Agricultural and Horticultural Society. Edited by Simon S. Rathvon and published by Wylie & Griest in the City of Lancaster, The Lancaster Farmer was "devoted to Agriculture, Horticulture, Mechanics, and general correlative Miscellany" and was meant to be "a gatherer and disseminator of facts, relating to these specialties, rather than the promulgator of more theories..." AS such, the editorial and publishing committees invited individuals throughout Lancaster County to submit "such facts as it may be profitable for the public to know." The reader will find useful information on a wide variety of topics, ranging from "Advice to Working Men," to "Edible Fungi," to "The Cellular Tissue of Plants."

Instructions for Using The Lancaster Farmer

  1. Click on the title of the volume you wish to view.
  2. On the left, you will see a list of choices for modes of viewing the item. Larger files will take longer to load.
  3. If you wish to conduct a full-text search of the volume, select either "Read Online" or "PDF Mode."
  4. To search in "Read Online" mode, enter your search term in the search box in the upper right of the screen.
  5. To search in "PDF" mode, click on the binoculars icon on the left and enter your search term in the box that appears.
Lititz Newspaper Collection

The Lititz Newspaper Collection contains issues from 1877 to 1936 of The Lititz Record and from 1937-1942 of its successor, The Lititz Record Express.

The New Holland Clarion

The New Holland Clarion was published weekly in New Holland, Lancaster County, PA from 1873-1984. The newspaper provided the local news, world and regional news, information on social events and businesses, and historical sketches of New Holland. This particular digitized collection includes issues from 1873 to 1950.


Lancaster City & County Directories, 1843-1922

These directories list residents in the city and the county by name and street address, and can help locate people on an annual basis from 1843-1922.  The directories also list businesses and professionals.

Browse or Search Lancaster Directories, 1843-1922

Manuscript Finding Aids

Manuscript Groups (MGs) are collections of materials which have a common theme or origin. They may be the records of a family, an individual, an organization, or a local business. Patrons may obtain copies of items in a manuscript group while researching onsite or by request.

The Finding Aids can be searched by keyword searching’s main website. This can also achieved by clicking the magnifying glass in the top, right corner of your screen. To search just the titles of the Finding Aids, you can also visit their main landing page.

Oral Histories

Oral histories gather details of the recent past through interviews with participants of history, recording both extraordinary events and everyday life. possesses oral histories from the following projects:

  • African American Veterans Project
  • Community Soundings
  • Veterans’ Oral History Project
  • General Collection

If you wish to learn more about any oral histories from the above projects, please contact the Archives at is proud to be working with The 7th Ward: Discovering Our Treasures Project team to pursue the creation and documentation of oral histories of Lancaster citizens from the culturally-diverse 7th Ward in Lancaster City from 1930-1980. We’re very grateful to the Patrick Kenney, Jr. and K.L. Shirk Fund from the Lancaster County Community Foundation for their support of the 7th Ward Oral Histories project!

Lancaster County Community Foundation logo.

Research Guides

While these guides are designed to help patrons in locating material in the Reading Room in person at the Research Library, visitors may find them helpful when planning their next research trip to These guides are not meant to be used as definitive lists. We encourage patrons to ask for assistance from Research Library staff for further help and suggestions if necessary.