Looking up British Newspapers

I'm going to take you on a tour of how easy it is to access British Newspapers from the comfort of your chair.  Sooner or later most Australians will find someone in their tree that comes from the UK, so it is an important skill to have at your disposal.

There are two major sites I use for looking up British Newspapers, the first is the NSW Library - and it's FREE

To access the British newspapers you first need to become a reader at the library.  It's simple to do over the net here.

Then access the eResources page and tick the family history section.  This just narrows down the amount of resources you need to look at.  You will find a page that looks like this:

The top 4 resources are the ones you want, I mostly use the 19th Century British Library Newspapers (Gale)  as I am researching people from the 1800's.  If you hover over each resource it will give you a guide to what types of newspapers, mags, etc and the timeline it covers.  This one covers 48 newspapers, including national and regional.  Below is a quick guide on what to input to do a basic search:

 Start with a basic search to see how many hits you get, if it is lots you may need to do an advanced search to narrow down the parameters you are searching.  Don't search the whole archive, narrow down, and do as specific a search as you can - you can always broaden it.  

Be creative!  I had the information that Mr. O Farr is noted in the Surrey Advertiser Newspaper of 17th Feb 1866 with reference to Band Leader, Obed La Farre. So I searched for the newspaper, and keywords band, leader, band leader, obed, lafarre. la farre, and farr.  As this archive only has the Sussex Advertiser, I have not found it yet.

This is what the page will look like once you press search

NOTE:  at the top you will see the total number of hits you have, try to narrow down your search if you have too many.  You will see that the page images on the right have red boxes, this is the full article where your keyword can be found.  SIMPLY CLICK on the first image.

The second site that you may want to search is the British Newspaper Archive I suggest you do an ADVANCED SEARCH immediately on this site.  Narrow down your search peramiters as much as possible as otherwise you may obtain too many hits.   This site is not free, but you can sign up for an account and get 3 FREE DOWNLOADS.  The Archive has newspapers that are not available via any other site, it also has an interesting blog. 

Happy hunting your UK ancestors!


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