How to find newspaper content

The Library provides access to newspaper content via online subscriptions (including digital archives), on microfilm and by subscribing to print copies of some titles.

Digital archives

Some newspapers have digitised their historic content and you can search and view facsimiles of articles and pages. Digital archives can be a good way (often the only way, other than microfilm) to search for birth and death notices and for advertisements.

The Library provides access to a wide range of newspaper digital archives including; The Times Digital Archive, The Historical Scotsman, The New York Times and the Pravda Digital Archive.

Online editions

Most newspapers have their own website. Online editions may include articles not published in print editions.

Some newspaper websites provide free access to an online archive, with others you may have to register or pay a fee to view premium content.

Before paying for anything, first check to see if you can find what you’re looking for via one of the Library’s paid for services. Details of services to which the library subscribes are provided on this page.

If you can’t find the information you require via a newspaper’s website, try Factiva or LexisLibrary which archive the text of the printed editions of newspapers and which, in some cases, will provide access to content back to the early 1980s.

Databases and online subscriptions

Factiva and LexisLibrary

Search for newspaper content using Factiva or LexisLibrary. Both aggregators allow you to search the full text of UK national and regional newspapers. Factiva also provides access to much of the world’s press including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Using Factiva and LexisLibrary you will be able to read plain text versions of newspaper content. If you want to see how an article looked in print, you should refer to a digitised verison of the title (if available) or to microfilm.

Coverage and update schedules for each title are provided by clicking the information icon next to the title listing.

Articles by freelancers, some features, some supplements, birth and death notices may not be available online. Microfilm may be the only option for finding some newspaper content.

Microfilm

If a newspaper has not been retrospectively digitised, like The Scotsman and The Times, then microfilm can often be the only way to gain full access to an entire edition of a newspaper.

Microfilm can be useful if you want to:

  • Read death and birth notices
  • View photographs and graphics (as printed)
  • Look at adverts
  • Read some supplements which are not available online
  • Read some articles by freelancers which may not be available online for copyright reasons.

Microfilm is available for the following UK newspapers:

NewspaperMicrofilm coverage
Financial Times1970-present
The Guardian1986-present
The Herald (Glasgow Herald before 1992)1949-present
The Independent1986-present
(includes incomplete run of The Independent on Sunday)
The Scotsman1831-1835, 1840-1841, 1845-1885, 1914-1919, 1928-1931, 1962-present
The Sunday Times1978-present
The Times1785-present

Microfilm is also available for:

TitleMicrofilm coverage
The Times Educational Supplement1910-present
The Times Higher Education Supplement1971-present
Times Literary Supplement1902-2000, 2002-present

How to access microfilm

Microfilm and microfilm readers are available to use in the Library Annexe. Please note there is currently no facility to print from microfilm at the Library Annexe. Microfilm can also be requested from the Annexe and viewed using the reader in the CRC on the 6th floor of the Main Library.

Newspaper Indexes

Some indexes are also available to help you find articles using Microfilm. These are also located in the Library Annexe.

IndexCoverage
The Financial Times1981-2005
The Guardian1986-2003
The Herald1949-67, 1971-78
The Independent1992-1994
The Scotsman1987-89
Soviet News1945-1959
The Times1785-present

Tip: where there are gaps in coverage try using The Times index to establish an approximate date for the event you are researching.

Print copies

The Main Library takes some daily UK and foreign newspapers which are available to consult on the 4th floor. 3-4 months worth of newspapers are held for each title.

The most recent edition of some of our print newspapers are available in the New Books and Current Journals display on the 1st floor.

Newspapers available
UK Titles:The Guardian, The Herald, The Independent, The Scotsman, The Times
Overseas titles:Frankfurter Allegemeine , International Herald Tribune, IzvestiiaTimes , Literaturnaia Gazeta, Le Monde, Nezavismaya Gazeta, El Pais, Pravda, Die Zeit
Also available:Times Education Supplement , Times Higher Education Supplement, Times Literary Supplement

Further help

IS Helpline
Web: Self service portal (preferred)
Email:
Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5151
Availability: IS Helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

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