WEEK 8 Search newspaper archives
Scour old newspaper cuttings to uncover fascinating storiesries about your ancestors
Amanda Holden turned to old newspapers to find out more about her 5x great grandfather who lived in the early 19th century before census returns were available. There are many newspapers online now and they can sometimes provide the most detailed information you’ll find about an ancestor anywhere. Obituaries, stories of men and women who saw military action, reports on criminal activities, anti-social behaviour and even prize winners at local agricultural shows feature in millions of pages from regional newspapers digitised at britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk and taken from the British Library’s national collection. The same content can also be searched on Findmypast and GenesReunited. These papers and many more (digital, microfilmed and original) can be accessed for free in the British Library Newsroom at St Pancras ( bl.uk/subjects/news- media).
In a similar vein, the National Library of Wales has launched newspapers. library. wales, putting online 15 million articles from its collection of English and Welsh titles, which can be viewed for free. Most large libraries and county archives also have facilities for reading collections of local papers on microfilm. Newsplan was an initiative started in the 1980s to preserve regional newspaper holdings, and now there are databases to help members of the public fifind copies of papers held by libraries in Wales(www.newspl an wales. info ), Scotland ( www.nls.uk/about- us/workingwith-others/newsplan- scotland), Ireland ( www.nli.ie/en/newspapers- newsplanproject. aspx), South West England ( swrls. org.uk/newsplan.html), the East Midlands and East of England ( newsplan.liem.org. uk) and in London ( cityoflondon.gov.uk/ newsplan). Many local libraries can give members free access to major subscription databases like 19th Century Newspapers (which includes a selection of the titles available at british newspaper archive. co.uk) and The Times Digital Archive.
Most national papers still in circulation have online archives which can be searched for free, although you need to pay to view pages, at pqasb.pqarchiver.com/ guardian/ advanced search. html, The Daily Mirror, Daily Express and Sunday Express at ukpressonline.co.uk and The Scotsman going back to 1817 at archive. scotsman.com. The Irish Newspaper Archives contains one of the largest collections of online titles for the country at irishnewsarchive.com.
There are lots of online indexes for local papers created by volunteers. Transcriptions from old Merseyside newspapers can be searched for free at old- merseytimes.co.uk and there’s an index of 22,000 people mentioned in 1914–1918 editions of The Cumberland News at ww1search. cumberlandnews.co.uk. Pages from the Teesdale Mercury have been scanned, and these can be searched for free at teesdalemercuryarchive.org.uk.
Military citations, notifications of bankruptcies, changes of name, probate notices and business announcements were published in The Gazette, an official public record established in 1665. The entire run has been scanned and can be searched at www.thegazette.co.uk.
If your ancestors went abroad then they may be named in one of the international titles which are available for free at news. google.com/newspapers, or elephind. com, which filters other sites like trove.nla. gov.au ( run by the National Library of Australia). A list with links to loads of newspaper databases from around the world and including the UK at en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/wikipedia: list_of_online_ newspaper_ archives highlights those that are free to use.
Most national newspapers have online archives
Old newspaper cuttings can be a great source of detailed information about your ancestors