Where Can I Find Copies of Old Newspapers?

The British Library’s extensive collection of British and Irish newspapers includes nearly every issue published since 1840. Housed in the National Newspaper Building in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire, since 2015, the collection consists of 660,000 bound volumes and 370,000 reels of microfilm, amounting to about 60 million newspapers. This unparalleled historical resource is now properly stored on 20 miles (33 km) of shelves in a low-oxygen environment.

Read all about it:

  • The newspapers are stored on shelves standing more than 65 feet high (20 m), and are accessed by robotic cranes in carefully monitored conditions.
  • Many of the newspapers are so old and fragile that they would crumble if you were allowed to touch them. The storage building's oxygen level is kept at 14 percent and the humidity level is kept at 55 percent.
  • The British Library's collection includes the Thomason Tracts, comprising 7,200 newspapers from the 17th century, and the Burney Collection, which includes periodicals from the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
More Info: British Library

Discussion Comments


14% oxygen. Now how do you breathe there? The atmospheric oxygen is at least 21%. I know robots don't breathe, but don't human beings ever go there?

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