Associated Press Record Sets

You probably already know that Ancestry Library Edition (ALE) offers some coverage of newspapers, in addition to its huge collection of genealogical records pertaining to individuals. On ALE’s Home screen, you can browse newspaper titles using a link in Quick Links (bottom of the page). Doing so will reveal 145 record sets within ALE that pertain to newspapers in some fashion.

Now, in addition to digitized images of individual newspapers, ALE also provides five record sets that pertain to the Associated Press (AP). The AP is a multi-national nonprofit news agency headquartered in New York City. Member newspapers and broadcast stations share stories, photos, and video on breaking stories.

There are five AP record sets in ALE--you can easily locate them by using ALE’s Card Catalog to do the following search:

Title—Associated

ALE provides the following indexes for AP stories:

1. Associated Press, Name Card Index to AP Stories, 1905-1990: In this record set, you can search stories by personal name, or browse surnames by ranges of the alphabet.

Associated Press Name Index card

2. Associated Press, Subject Card Index to AP Stories, 1937-1985: In this record set, you can search by Keyword or Subject. Subject categories include (to name just a sample):

Aviation
Crimes
Deaths
Disasters
Entertainment, Theatricals
Government
Labor
Legislative Bodies
Literature
Matrimony, Divorce, Death
Personalities
Public Health
Science
Segregation

You can use Keyword to add a locale like St. Louis Missouri or East St. Louis Illinois to a search.

Cards in the above record sets will usually include a classification number that looks like this:

83.46-75

The first number (83) is the country code; the second number (46) is the subject code; and the last number (75) is the page number.

The classification number can then be used to access the actual AP articles appearing in the following record set:

3. Associated Press, Stories & Newsfeatures, 1937-1985.

The Search feature for this record set includes a box for Classification Number. Stories you view can be emailed home; saved as PDFs; printed; or saved as an image using Paint [Ctrl-Alt-PrtScn].

Two additional record sets provide info about the AP itself, including its organization; staffing; operations; coverage of major stories like WWI and WWII, the JFK assassination, and the moon landing; and technological innovations in news transmission.

4. Associated Press, The AP World, 1943-2001
5. Associated Press, Service Bulletin, 1904-1927

These two record sets could prove extremely useful for persons researching a particular journalist; a newspaper (like the Post-Dispatch or Globe-Democrat, for example); or the history of 20th century journalism in general.

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of St. Louis Public Library