I have found out that I do not need a plugin to get archive pages for my custom post type "news". I just copied archive.php from my theme into a archive-news.php and modified it. So, now I can visit
mydomain.com/news and get a paged listing of all news items.
But even after reading several old related threads (such as http://wordpress.org/support/topic/archive-list-and-page-for-custom-post-types-mysql?replies=9 and http://wordpress.org/support/topic/custom-post-type-tagscategories-archive-page?replies=40, I still cannot get something like
mydomain.com/news/2011 to work.
What's more I can't even dump the query string, because when I use a URL like that, it goes to my 404 error page.
Is there a way to do yearly custom post archives without a plugin? I have tried adding the custom function from the older threads above, but nothing works, and those topics are closed.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.