How to find current, historical and online newspapers
The Library collects all Victorian newspapers, including suburban, regional and country newspapers. Additionally, we collect all special-interest newspapers such as sporting, business and religious newspapers, and all of the newspapers serving Victoria’s diverse communities; see the community languages information box on this page.
Many major Victorian newspapers, including complete back issues of The Age, Sun, Herald, Herald-Sun are available on microfilm in the Newspapers and Family History Reading Rooms (Newspapers & Family History Reading Rooms). To see what we hold on film, consult the Guide to newspapers on microfilm or search the Library catalogue. Type in the name of the place you are looking for, along with the word 'newspapers', into the catalogue, for example, 'Swan Hill newspapers', then hit 'Search'. You will then see a listing of all newspapers we hold from area. If you click on the 'details' TAB you will see more information on the title, such as date range and coverage.
The Newspapers & Family History Reading Rooms has current issues - the most recent 3 months - of all Victorian newspapers and two months of most Australian capital city daily newspapers. All newspapers in the Newspapers & Family History Reading Rooms are arranged by place of publication, e.g. NSW, Sydney, Australian Financial Review.
Victorian newspapers on microfilm are on open access in the Newspapers & Family History Reading Rooms. Most interstate microfilm is kept in onsite storage and can be ordered daily.
For detailed information on newspaper indexes, see the guide How to find items in newspapers.You can also find a full listing of all current and historic newspapers databases under the A-Z databases page.
There are hundreds of Victorian newspaper titles available through Trove, however often only some years of a newspaper have been digitised. Nearly all of the editions on Trove were published before 1955 (for editions that are not on Trove, see the 'Newspapers on microfilm' box below). Tim Sherratt has developed a map which pinpoints newspaper titles that have been digitized on Trove. It's very handy to see what areas and time periods have been covered across Australia.
Some major Victorian titles include:
The Argus: 1848- 1957 (also the Melbourne Argus 1846-1848)
The Age: 1854-1954. For dates after 1954, see the column on the right hand side on this page
Geelong Advertiser:1859-1926 (see also variant publications of the Geelong Advertiser from 1840- under 'Place> Victoria> G')
The Herald (Melbourne): 1861-1954; city evening edition.
The Ovens and Murray Advertiser: 1855-1918
Some of the below require you be registered as Victorian user of the State Library. You can also find a full listing of all current and historic newspapers under the A-Z databases page.
Tim Sherratt has developed a map which pinpoints newspaper titles that have been digitized on Trove. It's very handy to see what areas and time periods have been covered across Australia.
As it's common for a newspaper to change its title, we have created family trees, like the one below, for most Victorian titles. Once you have found the record of the paper on the catalogue, see the Fidning Aid - 'Family tree for this title'.
1854-2000: Australian Newspapers Collection (1831-2000). Articles are full-text, fully searchable and viewable as images.
1854-1954: online on Trove
1854- Google news archive: Google have scanned many issues of The Age from issue one in 1854 until the end of 1989. Not all the issues are scanned but many are- so it is a good option for post 1954 articles.
1955-2005 use microfilm in Newspapers and Family History and Reading Rooms (NFHRR)
Sep 2, 1996-- current ProQuest Australia & New Zealand Newsstream: full-text articles from the Age- no images or personal notices
2006- current 'The Age' Digital Editions
Access Australia Includes The Age (1991— ), Herald Sun (1999— ), The Australian (1998— ). Mostly text only. Full-image format available for recent major newspapers.
Gale Onefile coverage of The Age begins on January 19, 1991 to present. Includes articles- no images or personal notices.
The Age 1854- 2000 is available through Ancestry.com via Australian Vital Notices 1841-2001. Go to Ancestry> 'Search' > 'Card catalog' from the drop down menu> Type vital notices in the Title search
CD Roms in the Library
1993-1999 CD ROMS available in the Newspapers & Family History Reading Rooms (text only): includes: articles, editorial stories from the news, features, letters to the editor, opinion and analysis, section supplements, captions of images, some tables and the Odd Spot. It does not include articles written by authors not directly employed by The Age. Also not included are: advertisements, photographs, some tables and other illustrative material, weather reports, stock market information, text in the commercial and industrial property section, page one summaries of articles with the newspaper, lottery results, table of television programs in the Green Guide and Text for the Day
Current 3 months in hard copy in the Newspapers & Family History Reading Rooms. Full run of back issues available on microfilm in Newspapers & Family History Reading Rooms.
Ancestry is only available onsite.
Wayback Machine: contains some editions of the online version of the The Age from 1996 to current. Does not include all content; articles published online may not have been published in the physical paper.
The Herald Sun began in October 1990. Before this, there were two separate papers: The Herald and The Sun. Both titles are available on microfilm at the Library- see the newspaper family tree for more details. The Herald (1861-1954) is also on Trove.
10 Oct 1990- 30 June 2014: on microfilm in Newspapers and Family History Reading Room (NPFHRR)
Access Australia 2021 Includes The Age (1991— ), Herald Sun (1999— ), The Australian (1998— ). Mostly text only. Full-image format available for recent major newspapers.
Gale Onefile coverage of the Herald Sun begins on December 27, 1995 to present. Includes articles- no images or personal notices.
30 June 2014- until 2 December 2018: Herald Sun database (onsite access only)
2019- 2020 for the full text of the paper, including images and classifieds, order in the hard copy paper. See staff to do this. For articles only, access is through ProQuest, Access Australia and Gale One file via the Database page.
2001- ProQuest Australia & New Zealand Newsstream: full-text articles from the Herald Sun- no images or personal notices
Current 3 months in hard copy in the Newspapers & Family History Reading Rooms
1992-1999 (includes Weekly Times): CD-ROM includes: articles, editorials, news features, letters, opinion & analysis and captions. It excludes: images, classified and other advertisements, weather details, indexes, stock market information or tables.
NED: 15 April 2021- current month (some missing issues). Onsite access only
Wayback Machine: contains some editions of the online version of the Herald Sun from 1996 to current. Does not include all content; articles published online may not have been published in the physical paper.
Use the News articles search in catalogue to find results across millions of news articles from hundreds of newspapers. Text only, no pictures or ads. To find articles in popular Australian newspapers, combine one or more of the ISSNs below with your search terms:
|The Advertiser (Adelaide) (1996— )||1039-4192|
|The Age (Melbourne) (1991— )||0312-6307|
|The Australian Financial Review (2003— )||0404-2018|
|The Australian (1996— )||1038-8761|
|The Courier Mail (Brisbane) (2001— )||1322-5235|
|The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) (2001— )||1836-0203|
|Herald Sun (Melbourne) (2001— )||1038-3433|
|The Mercury (Hobart) (2001— )||1039-9992|
|The Sydney Morning Herald (2001— )||0312-6315|
|To find:||Type in:|
|articles about AFL in The Age||0312-6307 AFL|
|articles about AFL in two or more papers||(0312-6307 OR 1038-3433) AFL|
The content is uploaded weekly so for the most recent articles on a topic, it's best to go to the individual database. For more search tips and information about using our catalogue, please visit the Using our catalogue help pages.
N= paper copy held onsite
NM= microfilm on open access
NSM= microfilm in onsite storage
NMR=paper copy held offsite
For example The Age is found in several locations.
Search World War I newspapers on Trove by region, including Ballarat, Gippsland, Melbourne and Western Victoria.
The first newspaper published in Victoria was the Melbourne Advertiser, first published on 1 January 1838 by John Pascoe Fawkner. After only 17 editions, Fawkner was forced to stop publication because he didn't have a publishing license from the Colonial government.
The Advertiser was followed by the Port Phillip Gazette,1838-1851.
The Port Phillip Herald began early in 1840 and later changed its name to the Herald. Some issues are available on Google News archive- and it is on microfilm in the Newspapers and Family History Reading Rooms.
The Melbourne Argus began in 1846, and the Melbourne Age began in October 1854. Of these papers The Age, the Argus and the Heraldran for many years.
Early country papers were the Geelong Advertiser, the Portland Guardian, and the Banner of Belfast (Port Fairy).
The first suburban newspaper was the Williamstown Chronicle, 1856. In general suburban newspapers began to appear from the 1880s onwards.
Newspapers on the goldfields were quick to appear in places like Ballarat, Bendigo, Beechworth, Castlemaine and Maryborough. A gazetteer of newspapers from the central Victorian goldfields (1851-1901) by Sue Hughes gives a detailed list of newspapers for this part of Victoria.