ICON Database

The open access ICON Database is the most comprehensive source of information about significant newspaper collections in print, digital and micro formats. The database is designed to inform library decisions on developing, managing and reformatting newspaper collections. It provides highly granular information on newspapers held by libraries in physical form (print and microform) and newspaper titles included in major research databases such as Chronicling America and Readex’s World Newspaper Archive. Users can determine not only which titles are already preserved or digitized, and also measure the completeness of the holdings of a title in a given repository or database. 

First launched in 2002, the ICON Database incorporated bibliographic description and holdings information for more than 25,000 newspapers published outside of the United States. In 2013 ICON expanded the database to include titles published in the U.S. In 2015 CRL reached agreement with three major publishers of news databases to include in ICON metadata from their databases. The first publisher to submit data to ICON was Readex, CRL’s partner on the World Newspaper Archive. CRL also receives metadata from Gale and ProQuest.

As of October 2015, ICON listed 169,737 newspaper titles and over 46 million issues, dating from 1649–2015. These represent the holdings of over 3,000 institutions, including the Library of Congress, CRL, and the American Antiquarian Society.

Development and enhancement of the ICON database has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and by CRL member libraries.