Millions of stories: from your street to the world

The beauty of the British Newspaper Archive is the sheer diversity of topics and areas it covers. Whatever you're researching or interested in, our historic newspapers will have something interesting to tell you.

An unusually outward-looking press

The majority of the titles that we have digitised so far are local and regional newspapers from Britain and Ireland: but don't imagine that local news is all that they covered. Local newspapers historically were very different from today: as well as covering (in incredible detail compared to modern times) all the local events, and the people and places that featured in them, they would also report news stories from around the country, and indeed from around the world. So you will discover stories of international importance recorded within the same issue as a report of prizes awarded at the local agricultural show.

Newspapers are mirrors of the time they were published, and bring history to life

Wonderful as the stories within the newspapers are, it is often the peripheral details that allow you to get under the skin of the times and understand the past. Whether it's understanding the opinions, concerns and attitudes of our ancestors from letters pages and editorials, the development of commerce and advertising from advertisements, or the development of an area from planning notices, they are a truly comprehensive record of times past.

Historical newspapers cover every topic under the sun

The topics you will find covered in our historical archive are as broad as your imagination. Within our pages you'll find the stories of Britain's cultural and economic development; our diplomatic relations with Tsarist Russia and the post-revolution Soviet Union; the development of sport locally, nationally and internationally; the development of photography and advertising; the changing nature of fashion and many, many more.