Digitized Toronto Newspapers: Globe & Mail and Toronto Star
The Toronto Star - Pages of the Past and the Globe & Mail – Canada’s Heritage from 1844 are two databases that allow users to search for words and phrases in complete issues of these newspapers. These databases display images of the newspapers as they were originally published, including news stories, editorials, photographs, advertisements, classifieds, and birth, marriage, and death notices.
Coverage: (usually stops at 3 years before the current year)
Globe and Mail - Canada's Heritage: starts in 1844
Toronto Star - Pages of the Past: starts in 1894
Access to the databases from outside the library
Note: Valid Toronto Public Library card required. (Many Ontario Public Libraries also subscribe to these two databases)
- Select A - Z list of all databases on the Toronto Public Library website
- Scroll down and choose either Globe & Mail: Canada's Heritage or Toronto Star: Pages of the Past
- Click the "Access Online" button.
- Sign in using your Toronto Public Library card and PIN number
Searching the newspapers
- For the Globe & Mail choose either "Search by Word or Phrase" or "Browse by Date"
- For the Toronto Star use "Click here to Search".
- Select a start date and end date. You can search from one day to 5 years at a time
- Narrow your search by selecting a particular section e.g. News, Births/Deaths/Obits etc. Caution is advised when specifying content/section in older newspapers
Searching for a phrase or a person's name
Do not use any punctuation in the Toronto Star database.
All Words is the default search type and will include any pages where all the words appear, even if they are on different parts of the page.
Exact Phrase retrieves pages where the words appear exactly as you have entered them (e.g. the words "John Smith" together). You may need to enter names in reverse order ( e.g. "Smith, John") to find occurrences in obituaries, lists, etc.
Viewing the results of a search
- A chronological list of newspaper pages matching your search appears
- Click on the date to view
- Search terms may be highlighted in yellow, but if not, use CTRL- F (Find) to locate your search terms.
- To change the size of the image use the Adobe toolbar (hover the mouse at the bottom of the image to bring up the toolbar) and use the + or - buttons.
- Use the arrow buttons at the top of the screen to move to the next or previous result. To return to the complete list of results, click on Results List.
To print the whole newspaper page, reduced to letter or legal size paper, click on the printer icon in the Adobe toolbar and select "Print All".
To print part of a newspaper page:
- Click on the Graphics Select button in the Adobe Acrobat toolbar.
- Select the area you want to print by clicking the mouse and dragging it to draw a box.
- Click on the print button in the Adobe toolbar and
- Select the "Print Selected Grahic" option.
Note: The "Graphics Select" feature is only found in newer versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Older version of Acrobat Reader will only allow you to print the whole page.
To save a page to a flash drive/memory stick (PDF format)
- insert a memory stick into the computer
- click the diskette/save icon in the Adobe toolbar
- in the "save in" box select the correct drive name, for instance "E", for the flash drive
- click "Save"
Not getting the results you expected?
Review any punctuation - is it allowable? The computer sometimes reads words incorrectly due to poor resolution especially in the earlier papers. Column or line breaks with unexpected hyphens can also create problems. Try alternate spellings, different search settings or Browse by Date (Globe and Mail) or enter a date to browse the Toronto Star.