Newspapers are a wonderful source for historians. They are useful to find out about key events, people and places. They also include opinion pieces, of either writers, editors or members of the public in form of Letters to the Editor. All sorts of ephemera (weather forecasts, court circulars, advertising, sport results, etc.) give insight into daily life. Larger newspapers will also provide battle or war reports, law or court reports and parliamentary reports, including occasional reproductions of full-text speeches.
Finding and using newspapers effectively, however, and navigating your way through large newspaper datasets can be tricky. Help is now at hand!
A new LibGuide Newspapers and other online news sources from the 17th – 21st centuries aims to outline which newspaper and news resources, with the emphasis on online availability, are available in Oxford. While we aim to be global in our coverage, some countries or regions will have more newspaper resources than others. We have included all of Oxford’s online subscriptions, covering the 17th to the 21st centuries, and, where possible, provided details of many newspapers on microfilms, print or free on the web. Please note, therefore, that this guide is not a complete catalogue of Oxford’s newspapers.
You can browse by country/ region or by title.
The guide also alerts you to common problems and gives tips how you best construct your searches. For instance, you need to consider in which section of a newspaper you are searching and be careful what search terms to use, especially when searching full-text.
The layout of articles or advertising may also be relevant. Unfortunately many modern newspaper collections have not retained the original formatting. We provide guidance where this is the case:
Finally, we have added resources to help understand newspapers as source materials and suggested further readings.
We hope this guide will be useful to researchers. Feedback is welcome, so email email@example.com if you have any comments, questions or suggestions on historical newspaper resources.
More blog posts on newspapers