Digitized Toronto Newspapers: Globe and Mail and Toronto Star

Getting Started

August 2015 - The Obituaries tab has been deleted from both databases.

The ProQuest Historical Newspapers Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail 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 starts in 1844; Toronto Star 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)

Toronto star basic search


In the ProQuest search platform, the indexing is different for the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. The Globe is more detailed than the Star. Searching by document type is only available with the Globe and the page viewing options are more limited in the Star than the Globe.  The Search Results page in the Globe is article specific and gives the title of the article. Only the page number is displayed in the Star search. Obituary/death notices searching, especially for a common name, can be difficult in both  databases, despite the search tab labelled "Obituaries". (See separate searching instructions for obituaries).

Globe advanced search screen

  • Click on "Advanced Search"
  • Enter search term(s) e.g. Hurricane Hazel or Heintzman piano
  • Enter date or date range e.g. 1954
  • For the Globe and Mail, select Document Type e.g. " Front page article" or "Display ad"

Obituary Searching

The "Obituaries" tab can be useful IF you are looking within a very narrow date range or for an uncommon name, because there is no reliable way to search for first and last names together. Enclosing within quotation marks does not work.

Since especially prominent people are more likely to have articles written about them rather than specific death notices or obituaries, it may be better to use "Advanced Search".

Death notices in the Globe can be searched by doing the following, also using "Advanced Search".

  • Enter Last name in the first search box
  • Choose a date range
  • Under Document Type, select Obituary

In theory, if you first select the subject box on the right "Genealogy" before entering a name, it will search both the Globe and the Star simultaneously. However, in practice the vast majority of the results are from the Globe. It's best to try the Star separately.

 Viewing the results of a search

Search results

  • Results will appear most recent article first. (To change this, go to "sort results by" on the right side of the screen)
  • Clicking on a result brings up a PDF version of the article [Globe] or the page [Star].
  • Search terms should be highlighted. If not, try Ctrl-F (Find). (not always successful)
  • From the PDF article in the Globe, there are additional options to see the entire newspaper page, "Page view PDF" or "Page view clickable". The "Page view" options allow browsing of the pages of the Globe.  The Star also has "next page/previous page" options in the upper right of the newpaper page.
  • Also at the top right of the screen are the commands to go to the Next search results, start a New Search, or go Back to results.
  • To change the size of the image use the Adobe Toolbar and Click the + or - buttons.


Printing or Saving

To print a specific article (Globe only) or the whole newspaper page to fit on one piece of paper

Adobe toolbar again


  • Click on the printer icon  Adobe Print icon in the Adobe toolbar 
  • Cick Print
  • Printout will also include the details of newspaper title, date and page number.

To save a page to a flash drive/memory stick (PDF format)

  • insert a memory stick into the computer
  • click the save Adobe Save icon or download icon in the Adobe toolbar 
  • in the "save" box select the correct drive name for the flash drive
  • give the file a meaningful name
  • click "Save"

To copy or select part of a page

  • From the Search Results, open the newspaper page  in "PDF"
  • When the page appears, click "Open in PDF Reader"
  • Save as a PDF Adobe Save icon
  • Open the saved PDF
  • Click Edit on the Adobe Toolbar
  • Scroll down and click "Take a Snapshot"

Edit menu take snapshot


  • Outline the desired article. It will be " copied to the clipboard" or "selected area has been copied"
  • Click the printer icon Adobe Print icon on the Adobe Toolbar to print

To Save the selected item 

  • Use Copy command on the Edit menu of Adobe and Paste the selection e.g. to a Word document and then
  • Save that document


Try the "search tips" available from ProQuest on the upper right of the Search Screen.


Toronto Public Library contacts:

Answerline: 416-393-7131
[email protected]

Humanitites and Social Sciences Department, Toronto Reference Library 416-393-7175