Not everything is available online.
Most online periodical databases cover only the last 30 years, 1980-
For in-depth or historical research, print idexes insure that you are getting the complete picture.
Lightner Library has access to the New York Times on microfilm from 1851-2001. The Library also has online access to the full-text of the New York Times in multiple databases:
Recent issues of the New York Times are kept behind the circulation desk and the most current issue is located on the newspaper rack near the main floor stairway.
How would you find an article published in the New York Times prior to 1979? You would use the New York Times Index to find the article and then use the citation from the index to locate the article on microfilm.
Periodical indexes are tools used to find articles in journals, newspapers, and magazines. They exist in two forms:
Print periodical indexes and abstracts provide only citation information for each article indexed requiring the user to locate the full-text of the article. Abstracts are indexes that provide a summary of the indexed article in addition to the citation information. The Library's print indexes and abstracts are no longer current as we rely on our online periodical databases for access to more recent materials.