Historic Newspaper Archives

The library has access to a wide range
of historic newspapers most of which have been digitized and made available
online. Our strength is in British newspapers and that’s what this short video focuses on, but we do have access to some international historic collections too. The best starting place to see what we have available is by going to our newspapers guide and clicking on the historic newspapers tab. Our
collections date from the earliest days of news books and pamphlets in the 17th
century right up to the present day. We have access to the individual
archives of all the broadsheet national newspapers back to their first issue as
well as collections of regional newspapers particularly from the 19th century. You’ll see that you can either search an
individual newspaper such as The Telegraph or The Times or if you want to search across a range of newspapers choose one of the collections on the
left hand side. If you want to search across a range of newspapers you’ll get the widest selection by searching Gale Primary Sources, as this gives access to nearly all of our news archives except for The Guardian and The Observer. It has some clever search features too which we will look at now by default Gale Primary Sources will search across 15 different collections but you can deselect some of them as required type in your search and study your results. As you’ll see you can narrow down your search results in various ways for example by publication date or title of the newspaper, it can also be useful to
narrow your search down by section of the newspaper for example you might just be interested in searching the letters pages editorials or adverts. When viewing your results you can just look at your article or the entire page or the issue. As you may know newspapers didn’t use to contain many images or big headlines and texts don’t worry of your eyesight isn’t up to
it you can always enlarge the text. All our newspaper archives offer
different ways of exporting results for example by email, download or exporting
to a reference management tool. You can also narrow your search down before you retrieve your results just click on advanced search and you’ll see a range of options. For example you might just want to retrieve articles accompanied by cartoons or photographs. A nice feature of the Gale database is term frequency if you’re not sure when a particular word or phrase came into regular use this is a great way of tracking it. So that’s Gale Primary Sources if you
search one of our individual newspaper archives the search options will vary a
little but you should find some helpful options if you look in the advanced search. If you want to see how a particular news story was covered at the time use the browse by date function remember though that news used to travel
much more slowly so it might take a day or two for it to be covered and
front-page splash headlines are a much more recent
phenomenon. Finally do remember that spelling and terminology have evolved over time so you might need to try variant spelling’s and also carry out
some research to see what sort of terms people used at the time.

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