Purpose of the Newspaper Collection
The purpose of the WSU newspaper collection is to help support the teaching, research, and public service functions of the University. However, fiscal constraints prevent the Library from collecting newspapers from all political, social, ethnic, or cultural viewpoints or from all countries represented by students attending Washington State University. As a result of recent budget cuts, the WSU Libraries only maintains current microfilm subscriptions for major Washington state daily newspapers. With a few exceptions, current issues of major national and international papers are available only through electronic access and recent issues are not kept on microfilm.
For older microfilm backfiles of domestic newspapers outside the Pacific Northwest, the Libraries relies on Interlibrary Loan. The collection at the University of Idaho is also taken into account in an attempt to avoid unnecessary duplication, particularly of Idaho papers. The Washington State Library in Olympia is the key source for Washington newspaper backfiles, which are also available on Interlibrary Loan. The University of Washington Library also has an excellent newspaper collection, for which microfilm backfiles are available on loan. State historical societies, particularly the Eastern Washington Historical Society, are additional sources for microfilm of older, discontinued Washington newspapers needed for research.
Also, electronic full-text newspaper archives available through databases such as Access World News and Lexis Nexis are considered an alternative to paper or microfilm subscriptions. The Historical New York Times provides cover to cover electronic access to more than 150 years of a major national paper and the Historical Seattle Times provides electronic full text coverage of a major Washington and Pacific Northwest newspaper. Another electronic collection, Ethnic Newswatch, has extensive coverage of minority and ethnic American newspapers. In addition, free Internet sites such as Kidon Media Link connect to extensive current newspaper coverage all over the world and even smaller U.S newspapers now have their own web site where current issues are freely available. Supplementing these electronic sources are several specialized microfilm collections owned by the WSU Libraries, such as "Underground Newspaper Collection," the "British Culture Series," the "American Culture Series," the "American Periodical Series," and the "Contemporary Newspapers of the North American Indian."
Geographical Areas: Policies for collecting in various geographical areas are as follows:
1. State of Washington. The WSU Libraries purchase issues of most Eastern Washington weeklies, and are filming or preserving backfiles in accordance with the State Newspaper Preservation Policy of 1992. For recent backfiles of most Eastern Washington weeklies the WSU Libraries relies on the Washington State Library, where microfilm of these newspapers is available on Interlibrary Loan. The WSU Libraries purchase all Eastern Washington dailies, but do not preserve backfiles since the State Library is filming them and making them available on Interlibrary Loan. The only exceptions are the Columbia Basin Herald, Moscow Pullman Daily News, Spokane Spokesman-Review, WSU Daily Evergreen, and Yakima Herald-Republic, for which we do purchase microfilm, and microfilm copies of a small number of other Eastern Washington titles we are responsible for filming in accordance with the State Newspaper Preservation Policy of 1992.
The WSU Libraries purchase the major Western Washington dailies, but buy current microfilm backfiles only for the Olympian, Seattle Times, and the Tacoma News-Tribune. A few smaller Western Washington newspapers are made available as a public service to students who wish to read their hometown papers. We do not preserve backfiles or purchase microfilm for any other Western Washington papers. Microfilm backfiles of all Western Washington papers are available on Interlibrary Loan from the Washington State Library.
2. National. . The WSU Libraries no longer get current microfilm backfiles of any national paper. Through databases such as Access World News and Lexis Nexis the library provides current electronic access to a large number of national papers. .
3. International. The WSU Libraries provides electronic coverage to a large number of international newspapers through databases such as Access World News and Lexis Nexis. The library continues to get current issues of a very small number of international papers: Iran Times, Korea Times, and Rhenmin Ribao. All of these are English language editions, except for the Chinese paper, Rhenmin Ribao. Backfiles of international newspapers are no longer kept on microfilm.Lou Vyhnanek