CHRC holds one of the largest collections of Catholic newspapers in the United States. These newspapers were collected by the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia which was founded in 1886 to collect material documenting the history of Catholicism in the United States.

The newspaper collection contains Catholic newspapers from throughout the United States as well as some Catholic newspapers from Canada, England, Ireland, France and Italy.  The collection contains over 300 titles, representing 35 states and the District of Columbia, and covers the period primarily from the 1820’s through the 1940’s. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1840’s through the 1920’s.

Included are early and prominent Catholic newspapers such as The Catholic Press/The United States Catholic Press (Hartford), The United States Catholic Miscellany (Charleston), The Catholic Herald (Philadelphia), The Catholic Mirror (Baltimore), The Catholic Advocate (Louisville), The Pilot (Boston), The Catholic Telegraph (Cincinnati) and The Freeman’s Journal (New York City). The collection also contains many ethnic newspapers, including Irish-American, German-American and Polish-American newspapers, as well as newspapers published for a juvenile audience, society newspapers and papers published for the support of Catholic institutions.

Notable are some of the first black Catholic newspapers published in the United States. There is a good run of the American Catholic Tribune, originally published in Cincinnati and later in Detroit, for the years 1887-1894. There are some issues of The Journal, a Philadelphia black Catholic newspaper that was published for a few months in 1892. The collection also includes Volume I, Number 1 (February 18, 1905) of The Catholic Herald, a black Catholic newspaper in Washington, D.C. which may be the only issue published. Read more about the black Catholic newspapers and periodicals that are part of CHRC’s collection.

The collection also contains other rare titles such as Sina Sapa Wocekiye Taeyanpaha, a North Dakota newspaper published in the Sioux language, The Catholic Visitor (Richmond, Virginia), The New Jersey Catholic Journal (Trenton, New Jersey) and perhaps the only significant collection of Redpath’s Illustrated Weekly, a primarily Irish national newspaper published in New York City by the journalist and social activist James Redpath.

Search the collection via our online catalog.

Philadelphia Roman Catholic Diocesan Newspapers are available online at

The records are indexed and keyword searchable. The search is free; however, to view the records a subscription to Findmypast is required.

Click here for information about Catholic newspapers in Philadelphia.