Newspapers, television and sound archives

Newspapers, television and sound archives

Use this guide to help you find newspaper articles, television and radio programmes, films and sound recordings.

Newspaper articles
Current newspapers

The library provides access to the full text of over 1900 newspapers from across the globe through ProQuest News and Newspapers. The database includes the full index of current and archived newspapers and is updated daily. Newspapers include both broadsheet and tabloid titles.

LexisLibrary News provides access to current local and regional newspapers in the UK.  Content is added within 4 days of publication. Access to older newspaper articles varies according to each individual newspaper. The oldest articles date from the early 1980s.

Many daily newspapers provide free access to at least today's news. Most charge for access to older archived material. List of Newspapers is a free site which lists newspapers worldwide by continent, country and region.

FT.com provides access to the complete daily editions of the global Financial Times newspaper. The site also includes a searchable archive, current market data, sector reports, business analysis and company and stock charting.

Newspaper archives

In addition, the library has excellent archival access to digitised older material, dating back to the 17th century. These are often fully digitised copies of the newspapers including original layout, images and advertisements. 

  • The Burney Collection is the largest and most comprehensive collection of early English news media, including newspapers, pamphlets, broadsides and books. The collection spans the development of the concept of news, newspapers and free press in the 17th and 18th Century. Items can be magnified or reduced in size for easier screen reading and users may save or print article images.
  • Early American Newspapers 1801-1900
  • Glasgow Herald 1820-1900
  • Nineteenth Century British Newspapers is a full text digital collection of national, regional and local newspapers in Britain in the period 1800-1900.
  • Times Digital archive 1785-2008 is a full archived collection covering 200 years of this influential publication.
  • British Cartoon Archive provides access to 150,000 cartoons and caricatures published in British newspapers between 1904 and 2010. The collection includes cartoons, preliminary sketches, letters, photographs and film; everything through to completed artwork.
Television programmes and films
  • Box of Broadcasts is a TV and radio off-air recording service with archives of programmes from 2007 onwards from across 65 free-to-air channels. You can record, view and create playlists of programmes.
  • TRILT (Television and Radio Index for Learning and Teaching) is a key source of British television and radio data. It can help you track down details of when and where a television or radio programme was broadcast.
Current broadcast news
  • Televised news services offer some current content online for free. Examples in the UK are the BBCChannel 4 and ITN.
  • Box of Broadcasts automatically archives content from the following channels BBC1 London, BBC2, BBC4, ITV London, Channel 4, More4, Channel 5 and BBC Radio 4. For other news channels (e.g. Sky News, Regional BBC channels, BBC News, France 24) you need to request programmes within 30 days of broadcast. Do this through the Guide page in Box of Broadcasts.
Broadcast news archives
  • BBC programme archives provide access to a range of older BBC programmes including both news and documentary programmes.
  • Media Plus has extensive news archives from Channel 4 news, Channel 5 news, ITN news, ITV news and Reuters. As well as news film reels from the early 20th century.
Documentaries
Films
  • Find a wide range of films on Box of Broadcasts. Do a Title only search (under Search options) to see if the film you are looking for is available.
  • The library has a range of DVDs. Search Discover for the film title and change resource type to Video.  If you are in the library building you can also browse the DVD collection on level 0.
TV dramas
  • For boxsets search the public playlists on Box of Broadcasts.
  • The library has a range of DVD boxsets. Search Discover for the name of the programme and change resource type to Video.  If you are in the library building you can also browse the DVD collection on level 0.
Radio and sound recordings
Radio
  • A range of BBC radio stations are available on Box of Broadcasts (Radio 1-6, Asian network, Radio Wales, Scotland, Ulster, Radio Cymru, Radio Nan Gàidheal, BBC World Service). Also commercial station Talksport. To find archived radio programmes do a Title only search (under search options) and select radio only.
  • London Broadcasting Company/Independent Radio News (LBC/IRN) Audio Archive features 4000 hours of news bulletins, vox pops, phone-ins, documentaries and current affairs programmes dating from 1973 until the mid-1990s
Sound recordings
  • British Library sounds is an extensive collection of audio recordings, including drama, music, oral history and environmental sounds.
  • Library of Congress contains over 20,000 audio recording available to stream online. Including music recordings and interviews.
  • Mediaplus offers two small collections,Culverhouse classical music collection and Wellcome Library recordings.