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Finding newspapers

There are over 3000 different newspapers in the State Library's newspaper collection. Here are some tips to finding newspapers in the catalogue.

Find by title

If you know the title of a newspaper, type it into the search box. If it is a common title, like The Herald or The Times, refine your search results by resource type 'newspapers' using the link in the right hand side panel. This will help reduce the number of search results to a more manageable number. You can also search by ISSN - see our finding newspaper articles guide for a list of major Australian and international titles.

Find by 'Place newspaper published'

Go to the Advanced search. Choose 'Place newspaper published' from the first drop-down box. Type a place name into the corresponding text box – this can be a town, city, region, state or country.

User tags and keyword searching

Some special interest newspapers have been tagged by registered users of the State Library. To search tags, click on the Tags link above the search box in the catalogue. You can see columns for most popular and recently added tags, and also a box to search tags. Type in 'newspapers' here and you'll see all the tags that have been assigned to newspapers.

Many newspapers also have subject descriptions, which you can use in a normal keyword search. For example, to receive search results for newspapers about the subject of agriculture, search for 'agriculture' and then refine your search to newspapers by selecting the appropriate 'resource type' category.

Sorting search results

In the right hand column, there is a drop-down that allows you to change how your results are sorted. The default is relevance, but the options for title, newest date or oldest date are especially useful for newspapers.

Title changes

Newspapers often change their name over time. If a newspaper changes its name it will have a separate catalogue record for each new title. Some newspapers have changed their titles many times, sometimes reverting to their original names and then changing yet again; for example, The Herald. The full record view notes related works, and may also have a link saying 'View family tree for this title'. The family tree opens in a new tab or window and can help you navigate through all the title changes, and also links back to catalogue entries.

Publication dates vs holdings dates

Newspapers are continuing publications, sometimes called 'serials' or 'periodicals'. Some newspapers are very old and the Library may not hold all issues. The catalogue records will show the dates of publication as well as the 'holdings'; i.e. the actual issues the Library has in its collection. For example, the Cape Times was published between 1887 and 1913, but the Library only has issues from 1895 to 1913. To check the holdings, see the 'summary holdings' statement in the 'Availability' section of the full record view.

More information and tips about researching in newspapers is available from our finding newspapers research guide and finding newspaper articles guide.