Pile of newspapers on the keyboard of a laptop computer

Warwickshire residents can now access over 3 million pages of historical newspaper articles online for free at a selection of Warwickshire Libraries or at the County Record Office.

As part of an initiative from The British Library to digitise their historic newspapers, millions of pages have been scanned and made available online from The British Newspaper Archive (BNA). Warwickshire Library members will be able to benefit from this extensive resource saving hours of painstaking manual searching through microfilm.  

The archives serve as an excellent resource for local as well as national information. Warwickshire newspapers feature in the coverage and other papers from the British Isles widen its potential use for all kinds of research. Articles date from as far back as 1699, up to more recent content from the 21st century so there is plenty to explore. 

Access to the archives in Warwickshire has been provided by the County Record Office for the next three years. People with a valid library membership can benefit from the service by visiting the County Record Office itself or at Coleshill, Nuneaton, Rugby and Stratford Libraries. 

Cllr Andy Jenns, portfolio holder for Customer and Transformation said: “We welcome this exciting addition to our online services for library members. It complements our existing Ancestry and ‘Find my past’ websites, both of which have been available to customers in all our libraries and the County Record Office for several years.  

“We have chosen to invest in this ground-breaking resource to give our customers access to a wealth of information which otherwise could involve hours of searching or a trip to the British Library in London or Yorkshire. We hope this helps to make information more easily accessible for everyone. I would encourage anyone interested to take advantage of this innovative service and what it has to offer.” 

Libraries can usually accommodate drop-ins at any time during usual opening hours, however, if planning to make a special journey to use the archives it is advisable to book ahead of time. This can be done by contacting the library by phone or email. Find opening hours and contact information for Warwickshire Libraries here. Booking is not necessary when planning to use the service at the County Record Office. Find the opening times for the County Record Office here. 

Customers will require a Warwickshire Libraries membership and a valid email address to access the archive. Library staff will be on hand to help and ensure people get the most from the service. Find out how to join the library here.

Libraries with local studies collections also have relevant local newspapers on microfilm, so anyone unable to visit the County Record Office or one of the libraries mentioned can still undertake research from the nineteenth century to the present. Find out more about local studies collections here or email librarylocalstudies@warwickshire.gov.uk

Published: 4th July 2022