Google Archives has become the flavour of the day when it comes to historic hockey research.
This raises a question of sufficiency and validity of the conclusions reached from a one newspaper source.
Will illustrate by using Montreal as an example from the post WWII era.
The only viable newspaper from Montreal that is available on Google archive is the Montreal Gazette or The Gazette as it is known On the other hand there are at least twenty Montreal centricnewspapers and publications that are not available. Included are important publications like The Montreal Star, Montreal Herald, Weekend Magazine on the English side and La Presse, Montreal-Matin, Journal de Montreal, Dimanche Dernier Heure, and others totaling over 20 publications, this is before looking at the various important provincial publications in cities like Quebec, Trois Rivieres, Sherbrooke. Further complicating the issue is that the available version of The Gazette is one of up to four issues that may have been issued for a specific date - early, morning, afternoon, final.
Quoting an article from The Gazette, represents a distinct minority opinion of an event since there were easily 20 differing opinions about the same event in the other Montreal publications without taking into account the various provincial publications.
This is why all the most useful resources pulls from as many articles as possible, we may not have access to all newspapers but we have access to many.
For example, when I research Vancouver Millionaires players I pull from Vancouver Sun, Spokane Times, Calgary Herald, and many others. This gives as close to an accurate of the time era as one can get.
I would say it's more important to get more reports from non-biassed or biassed against papers than from local papers.
Every post comes with the Nalyd Psycho Seal of Approval.
Articles should be attributable to a source. Wire stories were common pre WWII and often they were adapted or re-phrased to local newspaper needs, space and interests. Multiple newspapers may have slightly different versions of the same source wire story.
A lot of those are only available if you're in the place that the magazine was. For instance: I could go to the Missouri History Research Center and access all St. Louis area papers from the last couple centuries, but I couldn't get other papers. Same with the libraries here. Subscription sites are great, but they aren't guaranteed to be any better than google archives, which is free.
How should these sources be used? Obviously they're to be taken with a slight grain of salt, but even if we can identify an author, how are we to know how he was viewed by the readers?