Using Newspapers to research your family – for free
I need to research events, people and places of England; in particular, Lancashire. so, where do I go for British newspapers?
Whilst many records, sources and resources have made it online, too many of these records require a subscription or credits, often at exorbitant prices. The UK have digitised many newspapers and have, at first sight, a very exciting site: The British Newspaper Archive. However, whilst you can search for free, looking at any page requires a subscription. And whilst I may have paid some money for looking at these papers, the quality of the OCR is appalling. Give it a big miss!!
Try the state library for your particular state. If you live in Victoria, Australia, the State Library of Victoria (SLV) has a great collection of archived and current newspapers. Many of these can be searched and viewed online from home – all you need to do is register and obtain a library card.
Some key links to assist you in using newspapers at the SLV:
In the library: Browse newspapers, journals and magazines
From home: Newspaper resources (you need to be registered)
The library’s research guide for newspapers
Trove – The National Library of Australia
With millions of items, Trove is an unrivalled repository of Australian material. Trove is for all Australians. Whether you are tracing your family history, doing professional research, reading for pleasure, teaching or studying, Trove can help. And what is even more exciting – this site is free!!! Whether you are looking for newspapers, photos, books, images, diaries, manuscripts, video, music, archived websites, magazines.
What I love about Trove is the way you can, as a user, participate in this resource.
How you can contribute to the service?
Trove invites contribution from all users in a variety of ways. You can tag items you find with keywords, make comments that could be useful to other users, participate in the user forum, contribute your digital photographs via Flickr and even correct the text of digitised newspaper articles. This provides a way of ‘giving back’ to the community as well as making searching more efficient.
Correcting newspaper text.
Unlike the UK newspaper archive, Trove invites users to register and correct the text. As you can imagine, the OCR of some of the articles is a little “off”. If you would like to do this, you need to sign up.