The University has access to an extensive range of online databases that allow you to search, browse and view newspapers, magazines and other news sources. This includes both historic and current material.
The Library also holds small collections of newspapers in print or on microfilm. More information can be found in the relevant section above.
Newspapers and magazines are a useful to find out about key events, people and places.
Most newspapers and magazines are written for the general public or specific groups of the general public. As well as news stories, interviews and features they include opinion pieces (from writers, editors or members of the public i.e. Letters to the Editor), obituaries and ephemera (advertisements, court circulars, weather reports, etc.,). Larger, national newspapers will also sometimes provide battle or war reports, law or court reports and parliamentary reports, including reproductions of speeches.
Traditional print newspapers and magazines are not the only place you can find news though. TV, radio, film, websites, etc., can also be used as news sources.
Newspapers, magazines and other news sources can be be valuable to your research as they can provide up to date coverage of events, news and opinion, include images and can include reliable information as well as facts and figures.
However, when using any news source in your research there are things you need to consider:
Searching newspaper and magazine databases can be tricky with most of these databases including tens of thousands of articles and millions of words. These search tips should help you search newspapers and magazines more effectively.
The more you know about key events, people, laws and common terminology used during the time period you are researching, the more successful your search will be.
What keywords are you going to use for your search?
It's sometimes useful to start with a broader time period and then narrow it down.
To counteract any editorial bias or inaccuracies it is is useful to search more than one newspaper on your topic.
This will often mean having to search more than one database as newspapers are often provided by different publishers.
If newspapers are provided by the same publisher then it may be possible to do some cross-searching i.e. search multiple newspaper databases or titles at one time.
While the newspaper and magazine databases listed in this guide are the best ones to use when searching for historical or current news you will find some short runs of newspapers, individual issues, newsletters, etc., in other primary source databases.
Periodicals are publications that are published at regular intervals e.g. daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Newspapers and magazines are periodicals, as well as newsletters, scholarly journals, etc.
In the Main Library our print journals have shelfmarks starting PER.
PER = Periodical.
IFLA [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)]
It may seem like "Fake News" is a recent phenomenon but it's nothing new. People have been creating fake news items for 100s of years for various propaganda purposes. It's worth remembering this when you are using newspapers, magazines and news sources in your research, no matter the time period.
See our guide on Misinformation, Disinformation and Fake News:
If you require further help then contact your Academic Support Librarian:
Or contact Library Help: