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Tip of the Week – Google News Timeline may be coolest tool ever

Okay . . . maybe not the coolest tool ever. But pretty stinking close.

Google Labs released Google News Timeline about a year ago and I’ve been using it ever since. And I’m very

It works a bit like the basic Google Search page but focuses obviously on just news stories. I see this being huge for history, social studies and current events teachers. You simply type in a few search terms such as Abraham Lincoln and Google News Timeline spits out a timeline of news stories about my topic.

Google describes the tool as:

a web application that organizes search results chronologically. It allows users to view news and other data sources on a browsable, graphical timeline. Available data sources include recent and historical news, scanned newspapers and magazines, blog posts, sports scores, and information about various types of media, like music albums and movies.

The cool part?

If I type in a date, say . . . 1865, I get news stories from . . . wait for it . . . 1865! Stories from the period about Lincoln’s vice-president, ongoing overseas negotiations and his assassination. Sweet! You can obviously look for more recent dates and events as easily as earlier ones. The ability to drag the timeline back and forth and the list of news stories up and down gives you tons of “searchability.”

Clicking the title of the articles will open another tab with the text of the article. And depending on the source, you might even get a pdf of the actual paper. You can also add more “queries” – basically more newspaper and media choices. Find out more about how the Timeline works on Google’s help page.

It’s a great way to find and gather primary sources documents pretty easily. Depending on the age of your students, it’s also a great place for kids to do research.

Have fun!

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9 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love Google News Timeline. My 8th grade students are gearing up their research for National History Day and the news timeline makes it so simple for them to access many of the primary sources that they used to have to hunt for in libraries or simply never find.

    November 9, 2010
    • glennw #

      Sounds like a great use of the tool! Good luck to you and your students!


      November 9, 2010
  2. Very cool. I’m so glad you shared this just in time for our study of WWII!

    November 10, 2010
  3. timeline user #

    I miss the bar on the top of Timeline (a time axis with bars showing how many findings Google made in moth, week or year)

    March 28, 2011
    • glennw #

      It’s been a bit since I’ve used it – didn’t know it was missing. I also liked that little feature. Why would they take it out, I wonder?


      March 28, 2011
  4. RIP Google News Timeline. This was possibly the best thing that Google ever rolled out as far as helping historians/ history teachers. Now it is gone.

    I was about to direct one of my former students to use Google New Timeline for a history paper that they were struggling with when I found out about its demise.

    September 27, 2011
    • glennw #


      I know. Very sad. Google has actually closed their Google Labs group that develops stuff like this. The cool Google Newspaper site is also gone.

      Too busy with Google+ I guess.


      September 27, 2011

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