Explore 300 years of history through local, regional and national newspapers from the British Library’s unique collection
Offering online access to millions of pages of British and Irish newspapers from 1703-2003, the British Newspaper Archive is a fantastic resource for everyone interested in history, and for family and local historians in particular.
Newspapers from the British Library’s vast collection are scanned every day, producing digital copies that can be searched from anywhere in the world. Library users can search hundreds of millions of articles by keyword, name, location, date or title and watch their results appear in an instant.
You can view the full list of newspaper titles included in the archive here.
Discounts are available if you subscribe at the same time to both the British Newspaper Archive and Findmypast.
- News Articles – read about national events, as well as issues of local and regional importance. News articles are a window into daily life in historical Britain
- Family Notices – search for your family’s birth, marriage and death notices plus related announcements including engagements, anniversaries, birthdays and congratulations
- Letters – read letters to the editor written by the newspaper’s readers, including illuminating contemporary debates, aspirations and anxieties
- Obituaries – view a wealth of contemporary information on the lives of notable individuals and ancestors
- Advertisements – these include classifieds, shipping notices and appointments
- Illustrations – see photographs, engravings, graphics, maps and editorial cartoons
“Our library users and staff have been very impressed by British Newspaper Archive, especially the access it provides to archives of our local newspapers up to the 1950s – so useful for family history research.” Tanya Duthie, Senior Library and Information Officer, Leisure and Culture Dundee
“I’m actually addicted to The British Newspaper Archive. I wake up in the middle of the night wondering… did the Victorians ever roller skate? What did people think about Nelson’s column when it was first unveiled? Has anyone ever attempted a tightrope walk over the Thames? A quick search, and I get my answers. Except then I can’t possibly go back to sleep because one search leads to another. If you’re curious about the past, then The British Newspaper Archive is your best friend for life.” Matt Brown, Editor-at-Large of Londonist
FOR PUBLIC LIBRARIES: Download British Newspaper Archive Licence for public libraries
FOR PUBLIC LIBRARIES: Download Findmypast and British Newspaper Archive bundle Licence for public libraries
FOR SMALL ORGANISATIONS: Download British Newspaper Archive Licence for small organisations
FOR SMALL ORGANISATIONS: Download Findmypast and British Newspaper Archive bundle Licence for small organisations
To find out more about how the different access options work please see our General Access Information.
Promotional materials and downloads
Download this British Newspaper Archive poster and How to Guide to put up around your library.