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Newspapers, magazines & journals (including Scotland & Ireland)

Nature of Source

Daily or weekly printed record of events covering a wide variety of subject areas including people, places and events. The first British newspaper called the Weekly News was published in 1622 in London. In 1785 the Daily Universal Register, renamed The Times in 1788, began publication in London and in 1791 The Observer, the oldest national Sunday newspaper in Britain, began publication. The London Gazette, Britain's oldest continuously published newspaper published each working day by TSO on behalf of HMSO began life in 1665 as the Oxford Gazette later renamed the London Gazette from 1666. The Gazette initially carried reports on foreign events but later emerged as a means of communicating official government notices. The regional and local press developed from the 1830s from just a few titles to newspapers covering most towns and cities.

The industry developed into mass production in the 18th and 19th centuries following advances in paper production and printing machinery and a growth in literacy rates. Many editions have now been microfilmed or digitised providing a means of free text searching across thousands of pages of news print.

Use newspapers especially local editions to look for births, marriages and deaths, obituaries, coroner inquests, criminal reports, bankruptcy notices, family announcements, business and public notices, accident reports, adverts and news events.

When looking for local newspapers remember that many have changed names over the years possibly due to a takeover by another newspaper group or a local newspaper may have changed name to cover a wider area.

PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) is the largest index of citations from thousands of family history and local history specialist publications and journals. It covers English language periodicals since 1800 and is maintained by the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center in the USA. Searches can be made on named individuals, families and places and topics. The full article can be ordered from the supplier listed or directly from Allen County Public Library which holds back issues of all periodicals indexed in PERSI. The indexed collection can be searched at which offers the full article or content linked online to the indexed entry. The index can also be searched at HeritageQuest Online which is only available at libraries that subscribe to the service. The Genealogical Periodical Annual Index (GPAI) is similar to PERSI in scope but with fewer indexed articles from periodicals published over the last forty years. The index is available on CD ROM and as an e book download covering 1992 to 2001. These products and the complete volumes are available from Heritage Books at

Also see
Gentleman's Magazine
London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes Online

Where Found

British Library Newspapers (The British Library Newspaper Collections [formerly based at Colindale] is a division of the British Library based at St Pancras, London and at and National Newspaper Building at Boston Spa. The collections contain an archive of British and overseas newspapers, magazines, trade papers and periodicals. For a more detailed guide to using the newspaper archive see the British Library entry in GenGuide)
County Record Offices
The National Archives Library
Belfast Central Library - Newspaper Library (The library holds largest collection of local newspapers in Northern Ireland, ranging in date from the 18th century to the present day)
National Library of Scotland
Local and specialist libraries

Period Covered

1622 - Onwards

Genealogical Value

Names, addresses, occupations, birth, marriage & death dates, obituaries. Family histories and events.

Further References

Annal, David. Easy Family History: The Beginner's Guide to Starting Your Research: Bloomsbury, 2012


Bates, Denise. Historical Research Using British Newspapers: Pen and Sword Books, 2016

Chapman, Colin. An Introduction to Using Newspapers and Periodicals: Federation of Family History Societies, 1993


Collins, Audrey. Basic Facts about using Colindale & other Newspaper Repositories: Federation of Family History Societies, 2001


Ferguson, Joan. Directory of Scottish Newspapers: National Library of Scotland, 1984
Gibson, Jeremy & Langston, Brett, & Smith, Brenda. Local Newspapers, 1750-1920: England and Wales, Channel Islands, Isle of Man - Select Location List: Family History Partnership, 2011


Fowler, Simon. Tracing Your Ancestors A Guide for Family Historians: Pen & Sword Books, 2011


Howard, Philip. The British Library: A Treasure House of Knowledge: Scala Publishers, 2008


Leapman, Michael. The Book of the British Library: British Library, 2012


McLaughlin, Eve, Family History from Newspapers: Federation of Family History Societies, 1987


Murphy, Michael. Newspapers and Local History: Phillimore, 1991
Street's List of Newspapers Published in Great Britain and Ireland: London, 1870 (Available to download at the Internet Archive)


Websites (Explore the British Library Catalogue: Catalogue of all newspapers and periodicals held at British Library Newspapers, Colindale)
(The British Library Newsroom: News Media web page provides direct access to the newspaper catalogue as well as the main library catalogue together with guides covering the newspapers collections with separate sections on the Thomason Tracts and Burney Collection as well as guides to the British Newspaper Archive and television and radio news programmes) (Newsplan: A catalogue of the whereabouts of local newspapers covering English and Welsh regions) (British Library help for researchers: Newspapers and comics and Journals) (British Library Newspapers Digitisation Projects: Guide to all the Digitisation Projects available in the Reading Room including the 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Database and the 19th Century British Library Newspapers Database) (The Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals:1800-1900: Catalogue of newspapers searchable by title, place and personal name) (Newspapers in Family History, by Richard Ratcliffe) (Richard Heaton's Index to Digitalised British and Irish Newspapers Online) (Bowling Green State University Historical Newspapers Online: Links to historical European newspapers that are freely available on the Internet) (National Library of Scotland's newspapers collection. Search the main catalogue for details of their holdings) (Guide to Scottish Newspaper Indexes) (NEWSPLAN Scotland: National microfilming project designed to preserve historic local newspapers. The site includes a list of Scottish titles which have been filmed by the NEWSPLAN2000 Project and which are currently available for consultation at the National Library of Scotland) (Gloucestershire Archives: Gloucestershire Newspapers: A guide to national & local newspapers and their holdings) (Online store selling newspaper related material from a variety of suppliers) (The Welsh arm of the Newsplan Project which provides details of the whereabouts of newspaper holdings) (British and Irish Newspaper Research, Genealogy Social Network Group) (News Media Association: History of British Newspapers) (Early History of the English Newspaper)

Online Databases

National UK (British Newspaper Archive: Online access to up to over 9 million fully searchable pages, featuring more than 200 newspaper titles from every part of the UK, Ireland and Scotland from the British Library's newspaper collections. The British Newspaper Archive is free to search with a variety of options for accessing the full content. The archive can be used for free on-site at the British Library's Reading Rooms in St Pancras, and Boston Spa. The project was developed in partnership between the British Library and DC Thomson Family History Limited) (British Newspapers 1800-1900: The online collection, managed by Gale Cengage, contains 70 UK and Irish national and local titles with over three  million pages of searchable digitised content. Access is available in the British Library Reading Room and at participating institutions. The content can be searched for free with limited context at Connected Histories along with a number of other databases) (17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Database: Newspapers and news pamphlets gathered by the Reverend Charles Burney, 1757- 1817, available in the British Library Newsroom and at participating institutions) (British Library Newspapers Digitisation Projects: Guide to all the Digitisation Projects available in the Reading Room including the 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Database and the 19th Century British Library Newspapers Database) (British Newspapers 1710-1950: Pages of historical local newspapers from all over England, Wales and Scotland in association with the British Library) (The Scotsman Digital Archive, 1817-1950) (Welsh Newspapers Online: The National Library of Wales: Free online searchable access to digitised historical newspapers from nearly 120 newspaper publications generally up to 1910. This resource also includes newspaper content that has been digitised by The Welsh Experience of World War One project) (The National Library of Wales: The National Library of Wales: Welsh Journals: Welsh Journals provides free searchable access to Welsh and English language journals published between 1735-2007. Titles range from academic and scientific publications to literary and popular magazines. Users can also browse through titles and editions) (Gale Historical Newspaper Archives. Digitised collections include: Telegraph Archive, 1855-2000; The Independent Archive, 1986-2012; Times Archive, 1785-2010; Sunday Times Archive, 1822-2006; Daily Mail Archive, 1896-2004; Financial Times Archive, 1888-2010; British Newspapers 1600-1950; 19th Century UK Periodicals; 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers; The Illustrated London News Archive, 1842-2003; The Economist Archive; Punch Archive, 1841-1992; The Picture Post Archive. The databases and digital archives are only available for institutions) (The Times Archive) (Palmer's Full Text Online, 1800-1870: Providing researchers with web-based access to more than one million article images from The London Times) (The Guardian and Observer Digital Archive. Access almost 13 million articles dating from 1791 to 2003 and 1000s of photographs) (UKPressOnline. Daily Mirror, 1903-1980; Sunday Mirror & Sunday People, 1903-1980; Daily Express, 1900-current; Sunday Express, 2000-current; Daily Star, 2000-current; Daily Star Sunday, 2002-current; Daily Worker, 1930-1945; Morning Star, 2000-current; South Eastern Gazette, 1852-1912; World War One, 1914-1918 including wartime editions of Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Church Times, Kent Messenger, Herne Bay Press, South Eastern Gazette; World War Two, 1933-1945 including wartime editions of the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Fascist Week, Action!, Blackshirt, Yorkshire Post and Daily Worker) (Spectator Magazine Archive, 1828-2008. Scanned and digitised articles searchable by content, keyword, topic, location and date) (National and regional titles including The Times 1788-1833; The Gentleman's Magazine Library, 1731-1868; The Liverpool Courier 1897-1898; Edinburgh Advertiser, various editions 1771-1909; The Edinburgh Evening Courant, 1867-1869; The Bristol Times And Mirror, 1897; Liverpool Daily Post, 1897; Cupar Library Newspaper Index Cards, 1833-1987; England, Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976) (Online access The Jewish Chronicle newspaper archive dating back to 1841. The Jewish Chronicle, based in London, is the world's oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper and contains details of births, marriages and deaths that occurred within the British Jewish community) (Official Newspaper of Record - London, Edinburgh and Belfast editions) (Internet Library of Early Journals: The collection includes the Gentleman's Magazine, The Annual Register, Notes and Queries and Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine) (The Act of Union Virtual Library: A digital library of material relating to the 1800 Act of Union between Britain and Ireland) (Bell's Weekly Messenger; 1830-31; Some editions of the Illustrated London News) (Last Chance To Read. Searchable collection of 18th and 19th Century British and Irish newspapers and other publications with a mix of international, national and local news items) (National Library of Wales Welsh Newspapers Online. Free online access to digitised historical newspapers) (Cambrian Index Online. The Cambrian Index database contains hundreds of thousands of entries from newspapers relating to people and events occurring in an area roughly represented by the former county of West Glamorgan, mainly covering the period 1804-1881) (News on Screen: Database of 180,000 newsreel and cinemagazine stories, 1910-1983) (Moving image library including ITN & British Pathe) (The Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition: Online edition of six 19th century periodicals and newspapers) (Newspapers archive search from across the world including Glasgow and Edinburgh titles plus other Scottish titles, The London Advertiser, 1885 - 1885; The London Daily Advertiser, 1832 - 1833; The London Evening Advertiser, 1864 - 1865 plus other regional titles. To refine a search, from the search results page that appears, go to Search tools below the search box) (University of Glasgow: Glasgow Guardian Digital Archive: The archive contains searchable digital editions of the Gilmorehill Globe, Gilmorehill Guardian and Glasgow University Guardian. Together they represent the entirety of student newspaper journalism at the University of Glasgow) (Newspaper Archive Databases) (Worldwide and UK digitised newspapers) 
Regional UK
Hertfordshire Names Online (The site provides online access to the Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies indexes including newspaper and magazine indexes from 1758. Searching the indexes is free but a charge is made for copies of a document. The indexes could also be of use for those with ancestors in the neighbouring counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Middlesex) (Somerset & Dorset Notes and Queries 1890-1980. A valuable resource of genealogical information, you can find articles on local history, folklore and literature as well as valuable information like family trees, parish register extracts and copies of documents in private hands)
(Sussex, Eastbourne Gazette Newspaper Notices, 1858-1931. The index includes names found within the newspaper pages related to birth, marriage and death notices)
(Illustrated London News: Searchable editions from 1870 containing announcements of births, marriages, deaths, obituaries, wills and bequests)
(South Eastern Gazette, 1852-1912 available with a free annual subscription) (Cumberland and Westmorland Newspaper Transcriptions)
Richard Heaton's Newspaper Collection (Fully searchable extracts and full transcripts of English and Irish, Georgian and early Victorian Regional Newspapers (Transcriptions of the West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser, 1836-1887)
Georgian Newspaper Project (This database contains brief summaries of articles, advertisements and notices in the Bath Chronicle newspaper, for selected years between 1770 and 1800) (The Penny Illustrated Paper and Illustrated Times, 1882. Download only) (Liverpool and Merseyside's life and times transcribed from old newspapers) (Lancashire Archives: Red Rose Collections: Newspapers. The Newspaper Index refers to articles in newspapers from the early 19th century onwards which are held on microfilm and cuttings files in libraries across Lancashire) (Transcribed and indexed editions of the Surrey Advertiser and Accrington Observer)
(Slough History Online. Online access to digital images of pages from the Slough, Eton & Windsor Observer and Slough Chronicle dating from 1883 to 1929)
Google News Archive (Digitised editions of the Glasgow Herald)
(Online Visual Archive of Calderdale History: World War One Newspapers. Access digitised the pages of the Halifax Weekly Courier from the beginning of 1914 to the end of 1918, searchable by date or keyword) (Isle of Wight County Press, 1884-2013. Access more than 6,500 editions of the County Press online and search for articles by keywords and dates) (Teesdale Mercury, July 1855-December 2005. Online access to searchable pages of the Teesdale Mercury) (The Newspaper Index: Covering the Highlands and Islands of Scotland including The Inverness Journal,1807-1849: The Inverness Advertiser, 1849-1885: Scottish Highlander, 1885-1898; Inverness Courier, 1879, 1898-1901, 1920-1939; John O'Groat Journal, 1836-1887) (Historic Newspapers Online: 18th through early 20th century Newspapers from the U. S., England, Scotland, Ireland & Australia)
Ireland (Transcribed entries from Irish newspapers)
(The Belfast Newsletter, 1738-1925)
(Irish Newspaper Collection, 1820-1926: Online access to millions of articles from newspapers published around Ireland, digitised from the collections of the British Library. Titles include a variety of local papers from all four provinces of Ireland as well as national press)
(Byrne’s Irish Times Abstracts 1859-1901: The index includes births, marriages, deaths, accidents, employment, suicides, social activities and criminal and civil law cases covering the City of Dublin and its southern suburbs)
(Ireland, Newspapers, 1763-1890. This database contains various issues of more than 30 Irish newspapers printed between 1763 and 1890. These newspapers can be browsed by title and publication date) (Irish Newspaper Archive: Online access to Ireland's leading national, regional and out of print titles) (The Irish Times Digital Archive. Searchable by keyword and date, digital subscribers can view reproductions of every page of The Irish Times from 1859 to the present day) (Searchable transcriptions from various Irish newspapers) (RCB Library-Church of Ireland: The Church of Ireland Gazette. Digitized and fully searchable online editions for 1913 and 1914) (Historic Newspapers Online: 18th through early 20th century Newspapers from the U. S., England, Scotland, Ireland & Australia)
National Library of Latvia (Periodicals: Digital library offering newspaper and magazine titles in Latvian, German, and Russian, 1895-2000) (Search historic digital newspaper collections using key words and phrases from the US, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand) (US & World newspaper Collection. Online access to global historical newspapers from Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Jamaica, and South Africa) (Historic Newspapers: The European Library: Online access to about 10 million searchable full text historic newspaper pages digitised from collections held by various European national libraries including France, Netherlands, Poland, Wales and the Berlin State library. Users can search for  specific articles, people and locations mentioned within the newspaper)

CD Roms

ProQuest (Palmer's Index to The Times, 1790-1905 containing more than 450 accumulated quarterly issues of Palmer's Index. The index, compiled in the late 19th century, is available on CD ROM at the Society of Genealogists, the Guildhall Library and many other reference and specialist libraries. Some volumes are available at the Internet Archive)
Archive CD Books (Illustrated London News and the Penny Magazine)
(The Penny Illustrated Paper and Illustrated Times, 1882. Download only) (Online store selling newspaper related material from a variety of suppliers)