Limit by date range if at all possible as this will reduce the number of results exponentially.
Try combinations of search terms.
Be ready to execute multiple searches in order to get the results you are looking for.
Use specific search terms.
Remember to match the terminology to the time period or issue being discussed (i.e. searching the term "African-American" in 1920s newspaper will get you nowhere)
The Vanderbilt Central Library has a large collection of newspapers in microfilm format. Beware that most newspapers have NO INDEXING. The list is alphabetical by state, followed by alphabetical by country. Click on the link below for title, dates of coverage, and location information.