I’ve spent hours and hours researching World War II history and it’s hard to find much about the Pacific Northwest during World War II, even though there is a TON of history there! That’s when I discovered the Portland Oregonian’s online archives. They have every issue online and accessible for a day fee or monthly fee.
The stories are unreal. There are the typical AP headlines and world news, but then you stumble over a headline like “Couple Strip Clothes to Save Hiking Pal” and just die. You can tell a lot about the area too by how the stories are arranged by “importance.”
I also found some old 1940s magazines – Flying Magazine, Women’s Home Companion, American Home, Better Homes and Gardens Magazines. Where did I discover these? A trade show at a convention center among all things. The old ads and articles are like a time capsule of information.
For the small town newspapers (since the town itself is about a five-hour drive away and further hindered by snow) I contacted the local library and they were able to email me scans of the dates I requested.
A HUGE thank you to the folks at the Baker County Library. They spent so much time searching for the dates and papers in their archives. I believe it is local color and detail that makes or breaks a novel, and I know the details in my latest manuscript were only possible with their assistance!