The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership between the British Library and Findmypast to digitise millions of newspaper pages from the British Library's vast collection.

What makes this project so special?

The British Library's collection of historical newspapers is one of the wonders of the world: it contains newspapers from 1603 to the present day, from both Britain and further afield. There are over 600,000 bound volumes of newspapers (occupying 32 kilometres, or 20 miles, of shelving) and over 300,000 reels of microfilm (occupying a further 13 kilometres, or 8 miles, of shelving). Until now, the only way to view these newspapers was to visit the British Library, and, of course, it was not possible to search them.

The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership with the British Library to begin digitising this huge collection and make it available on the internet so researchers from all over the world can access the treasures within it.

What have we done to date?

Launched in 2011 and renewed in 2021, we have already scanned millions of pages of historical newspapers and made them available online for the first time ever. You can now search hundreds of millions of stories by keyword, name, location, date or title and watch your results appear in an instant.

The Future

The initial scale of the project was vast - to digitise up to 40 million pages from the collection over 10 years. The renewal of the partnership will see millions more pages added, including some free-to-access material. Our scanning team are constantly digitising more newspapers, so new pages are being added all the time. Our current focus is to improve our geographical and time period coverage across Britain and Ireland as well as broadening the type of material we digitise.