Digital humanities is an important challenge for more traditional humanities disciplines to take on, but advanced digital methods for analysis are not often used to answer concrete research questions in these disciplines. This article makes use of extensive digital collections of historical newspapers to discuss the promising, yet challenging relationship between digital humanities and historical research. The search for long-term patterns in digital historical research appropriately positions itself within previous approaches to historical research, but the digitization of sources presents many practical and theoretical questions and obstacles. For this reason, any digital source used in historical research should be critically reviewed beforehand. Digital newspaper research raises new issues and presents new possibilities to better answer traditional questions.