How to find items in newspapers

Finding newspaper articles, images and more using databases and indexes


Newspapers which have been fully digitised as 'virtual replicas' of print or microfilm editions can be searched for advertising content. You can browse by date or search by keywords and names. Some online newspapers let you limit your search to advertisements only.

If the online newspaper is a text file database, then you will not be able to search for advertisements. See Newspaper formats for a guide to virtual replica newspapers and text file news databases.

Advertisements in print and microfilm editions

If you are looking for an advertisement in a print or microfilm copy of a newspaper, and you don't know the date it was published, you will need to browse the newspaper to find what you want. Newspaper indexes are generally not available for advertisements in newspapers.

Indexes normally cover news reports and names, or personal notices. Phone directories and postal directories may provide clues to when people and businesses were around. The State Library has an extensive collection of old phone and postal directories for Victoria and other parts of Australia.

Advertising images

Early display advertisments from the Melbourne Herald


Melbourne Herald, 1 September, 1894
4, p.8

Herald, 1 September, 1894, p.8

Melbourne Herald, 3 September, 1894, p.3 Melbourne Herald, 3 September, 1894, p.1

Herald 3 September, 1894, p.3                                   Herald 3 September, 1894, p.1