Using Google to Find Obituaries

A recurring request at our reference desk is for help finding an obituary. As far as I can tell, Newspaper Source Plus, which is made available through the Power Library, provides full-text access to over 1,200 newspapers, including the Post-Gazette, but it doesn’t include obituaries.

However, Google News provides access to nine different scanned Pittsburgh newspapers, including the Pittsburgh Press (1819-1992) and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (1916-2007).

To access Google’s scanned newspapers, type this phrase in the Google search box: “ “, followed by keywords, such as “wozniak obituary pittsburgh”.

If the patron knows the approximate date of the obituary, you can also access all of the scanned newspapers at this site:

screenshot of Google News listing of Pittsburgh newspapers
Listing of Pittsburgh papers in Google News

Once you click on a newspaper title, you can begin browsing by year, month, or day. However, you can’t search once you are in the scanned papers.

image of scanned newspapers

There are occasional missing issues, and some illegible copies, but this is still a handy tool.

Newspaper Source Plus is updated daily, so is very up-to-date, but doesn’t include obituaries or illustrations.

What tips do you have for helping patrons find obituaries?

Mary Lee (Northland)