Searching is free, but to download full text, there will be a $1.95 charge per article.
Payment for articles can be done on an article-by-article basis with a Mastercard or Visa.
1. Enter words and phrases to search for: appearing Anywhere in the story
in headline in byline
in headline or 1st paragraph
(separate keywords with an AND or an OR)
2. Sort newest to oldest
oldest to newest by relevance
by frequency3. Limit total results to
25 50 100
4. Search years 2011 2010
20052004 2003 2002
2001 2000 1999 1998 1997
1996 1995 1994 1993 1992
1991 1990 All Years
Original Roanoke Times news stories from 1990 to the present. Prior editions are available on microfiche at Roanoke Valley libraries. (540-853-2073)
Fine print on searching
Your most effective search will usually be the simplest. Start by searching on just one keyword, such as a writer or person's last name. If you know specific words ought to be in the archive, enclose them in parentheses, as in (Home Shopping Network)
To find an obituary:
Obituaries posted since October, 1998, can be found using obit and the person's name as a keyword search. For example, type: obit - williams in the Enter words and phrases to search for: box.
Before October, 1998, all of the obituaries for a given day of the week are in one long file. If you are searching for a Smith, it will be part of a file that you'll see starting with Abbott, Adams, or Abercrombie - or some name at the beginning of the alphabet, as that is how obituaries are listed. Smith will appear on that list when you download the file.
In Food stories, recipes are not included.
If you are having trouble finding what you are looking for, keywords can help narrow your search and should be part of your search statement. One keyword you should NOT use is Roanoke. Because each story in this archive originated in The Roanoke Times, an unfortunate redundancy occurs.
Because of our imperfect indexing, our news librarians have created certain keywords that will help make your search more precise. Some examples:
romur - for murders that happen in the Roanoke Valley (Rke. Salem or Vinton)
nrvmur - for murders that happen in the New River Valley. Similarly, frankmur for Franklin County murders, bedmur for Bedford murders and and botmur for Botetourt County murders.
politics - stories that pertain to political races
election - for election results
photo - for stories that include photos (this database doesn't include photos, just the captions.)
fatality - used for stories about fatal accidents, shootings, etc.
To find a column:
Doug Doughty's College Notebook column: column(college notebook)
Beth Macy's columns : column(beth macy)
Joe Kennedy's column: column(cuppa joe)
To find stories written by a particular reporter:
byline(joel turner) or byline(turner)
To retreive a stories in a particular section:
If you want just letters to the editor: section(editorial) and type(letter).
To find all of the stories in a series:
series(peril and promise)
To search a particular date or range of dates:
date(05/01/95) or date(05/01/97 to 07/15/97)
Boolean connectors: AND means that both search terms must appear in the story. Example: Tobacco and settlement
OR means either must appear in the story. Example: Deion Saunders and (football or baseball)
BUTNOT means that the search term will not be in the story. Be very careful with this, you could exclude information that you need. Example: Greenways butnot section(editorial) This will retreive stories about greenways but not the editorials, letters to the editor or commentaries.
Tom /3 James means that the word Tom must be withing 3 words of James. This will retreive Tom James, Tom J. James, Tom Robert James and James Tom. This search engine is not case sensitive. It will automatically get plurals.
The exclamation point can be useful. If searching for a story involving embezzlement, and you are not sure whether it involves embezzlers, embezzle or embezzles, make your keyord embezzle!
If you are not sure of the year the story was written, change the pull-down menu on the search form to All Years.
More on Boolean operators: "and" and "or" to refine your search, and separate your terms with parentheses to prevent ambiguity. For example:
Mayor and (neighborhood zoning)
You can also search for specific sources, dates and sections by typing that information:
George Kegley and July 10 and business
It's often best to try several searches, then evaluate the results, before retrieving the full text of articles, for which there is a charge.
1. What are the charges for the archives?
Conducting a search in the archives is free; there is only a charge for retrieving the full text of an article. You can enter your search terms and conduct a search that will bring you a list of headlines and first paragraphs without being charged.
If you choose to retrieve the full text of the article, you will need to set up an account using your credit card number. Then, each article you retrieve will cost $2.95.
2. What does it mean to set up an account?
Setting up an account can be done quickly and easily via the Web. You will go to a secure form, where you'll be asked to enter things like a credit card number, a password, and some billing information. Once you enter this information, your account will be set up and you will only have to enter your username and password to retrieve the full text of an article. Your credit card information will be encrypted using Netscape's SSL protocol.
3. Why is The Roanoke Times charging for its archives?
In the past, users have paid fees to access The Roanoke Times articles through Lexis/Nexis, DataTimes and Dow Jones News Retrieval. Users have also paid to obtain reprints directly from The Roanoke Times. We've decided to make our archives accessible via the Web so that they would be available to a larger community of users at a lower cost.
The online archives are intended as a convenience for those who prefer to do their research on the Web. Of course, you can always research Roanoke Times articles at the Roanoke Public Library.
4. Can I post a Roanoke Times archival article on my Web site?
No. By paying a fee for access to an article, you do not have the right to re-publish it on your Web homepage. Archival articles are copyright of the Times-World Corp. and may not be republished without written permission. To obtain permission, you must submit a letter to the editor, Carole Tarrant, 201 W. Campbell Ave., Roanoke, Va. 24010
5. Can I link to a Roanoke Times archival article from my Web site?
You may opt to link to an article, but be aware that in order to view the full text of the article, visitors to your site will have to first set up an account and pay for access to this article.
6. What won't I find in the Roanoke Times archives?
You won't find stories written by wire services such as the AP or Reuters or syndicated columnists such as Ann Landers or George Will. You also will not be able to search for ads, graphics, or photographs. You will, however, find 10 years of staff-written stories, as well as letters to the editor, obituaries and more.
7. I can't find what I'm looking for. Can you help?
We can't conduct specific searches for users, or send articles by e-mail. We can, though try to help you narrow your search. Here are some examples of common searches:
Try entering these terms: hardy and obit and (section)Virginia
Try entering these terms: lead(george jones) and section(extra), then pull down the date menu to select 1994.
Try entering these terms: bowers and page(1) and byline(casey)
Try entering these terms: noel taylor but not city hall
Try entering these terms: cranberries and date(3-01-96 to 9-01-96) but not music or band or tour
Try entering these terms: money and explore park and date(last 3 months)
8. Who can I call/e-mail for help?