How to find old editions of newspapers

Back issues or vintage copies of newspapers: both can be found online. Here's how to get a copy of an old newspaper.

Dennis Wilkinson

Whether it's a birthday present or for a piece of research, you might want to discover a vintage copy or a back issue of a newspaper. Here's how.

The local library

Many local libraries keep copies of their local newspapers, either in microfiche format or in great big piles of newsprint. Here's where to find a library near you.

Reading local newspapers can be great for research purposes: whether investigating families or news stories. Note, though, that it's unlikely that you'll be able to search the newspapers other than simply flick through by date.

Google's News Archive Search

Google has digitised some newspapers from around the world. Google News itself contains news clippings all the way back to 2003. Google has also placed a page of instructions on how to search Google's archive of newspapers, including scans from earlier.

Purchasing a copy of a newspaper

If you're looking for a present or a keepsake, you probably want to purchase one instead. There are a large amount of online companies that sell old, or vintage, newspapers. You'll probably see some advertised on this page; or an internet search will find some suitable companies.

Look for companies that sell original archive editions, not copies, if you want something special. (Copies of newspapers are fairly easy to get: original archive editions are less so). Getting hold of editions of Sunday papers is quite difficult to do, though, so keep that in mind too.