“I need a copy of an obituary that was in the Plain Dealer in 2000. Is there a way for me to get it?”
Most libraries with a genealogy or local history department have newspapers archived, and there’s often a index to help find exactly which issue to look in. Since our patron was looking for an obituary from the Plain Dealer, we checked Cleveland Public Library.
We searched the Cleveland News Index for the name of our patron’s family member and found the issue, section, and page that their obituary was on. We emailed this information to the Cleveland Public Library Center for Local and Global History, and they were able to email us a scanned copy of the obituary. If our patron had been looking for something older, the Plain Dealer also has an online archive containing all their issues from 1845-1991.
Different libraries have different newspapers. Here at Newton Falls, we keep old copies of the Bridge and bound editions of the Herald in our Local History Room. The Akron-Summit County Public Library has indexed issues of the Akron-Beacon Journal (though only obituaries, not articles, are indexed from 1940-1984). Reed Memorial Library has all of the Record Courier on microfilm. An index for the Tribune Chronicle obituaries can be found at http://www.wtcpl.org/index.php/obituary-index.html, and the Warren-Trumbull County Library Local History and Genealogy Center can assist with getting copies of the obituaries in question. The Genealogy and Local History Center at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County can access the Vindicator archives, though the pre-1920 indexes are incomplete which makes it more difficult to find information from that era. Finally, the McKinley Memorial Library has digitized local Niles newspapers, and they are available at http://mckinley.advantage-preservation.com/.
Of course, this is not a comprehensive list. Any patrons seeking an obituary (or any other information) are welcome to call the library and we will do our best to find it.