How to find current, historical and online newspapers
The online catalogue is the main tool for finding newspapers kept by the State Library of Victoria. Searches can be made by title, place of publication, keywords and by user tags. There are some search tips below. There are also some tips about newspaper catalogue records which will help you understand how to read a catalogue entry.
If you know the name of a newspaper, search the online catalogue by title to find where the newspaper is located. If it is a common name try adding the city or place of publication after the title, for example Bulletin, Sydney, this will reduce the number of search results to a more manageable number.
You can search by town, city, region, state, or country if you do not know the name of a particular newspaper. You need to use the ‘Advanced’ search option of the catalogue to do this then chose 'In place newspaper published' from the drop down and then the name of the place, for example, 'Seymour' (see image below).
Some special interest newspapers have been 'tagged' by registered users of the Library. You do this by selecting 'user tags' from the drop down menu in the Advanced search. You can also search the catalogue using keywords and then narrow your search choosing 'Newspapers' under the 'Resource type' facet on the right of the screen.
When you do a search for newspapers, you can sort your search results. This is especially useful if there are a lot of newspapers with a similar name. You can sort results by date from newest to oldest. You can also refine your search by creation date, resource type or by subject. These sorting options are called Facets. Make use of them to refine your searches.
Newspapers often change their name over time. If a newspaper changes its name it will have a separate catalogue entry for each new name.
Some newspapers have changed their names many times, sometimes reverting to their original names, and then changing again, for example, see Daily Telegraph, Sydney. Under 'Details' see the 'Related Works' note for this information.
Newspapers are continuing publications, sometimes called 'serials' or 'periodicals'. Some newspapers are very old and a Library may not hold all issues. The catalogue records will show the dates of publication and the 'holdings', i.e. the actual issues the Library has. So make sure the Library has the actual issues you want to see. The catalogue record below shows that the Cape Times was published from 1887 until 1913, but that the Library only has issues from January 1895.
As of June 15 2020 the Library is open with reduced spaces and services.
Our Ask A Librarian reference service is still available to assist with your research inquiries.