How to find newspapers

How to find current, historical and online newspapers

Finding 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 ethnic communities.

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 RoomsR). 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 RoomsR has current issues - the most recent 3 months - of all Victorian newspapers and two months of most Australian capital city daily newspapers (except the Adelaide Advertiser). All newspapers in the Newspapers & Family History Reading RoomsR 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 RoomsR. Most interstate microfilm is kept in onsite storage and can be ordered daily between 10.00 and 5.30, then delivered in 30 minutes.

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 under the A-Z databases page.

Trove

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 1955-2006, use microfilm in the Newspapers & Family History Reading Rooms; then from 2006 use 'The Age' Digital Edition 

Geelong Advertiser:1859-1926 (see also variant editions 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

Victorian newspapers on databases

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.

Databases

Other CD ROM and online option

Locate Trove newspapers

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.

 

Newspaper family trees

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, near the bottom of the page there is 'other links'  and under this, 'view family tree for this title'.

 

 

 

 

Where to find The Age

1854-1954: online on Trove

1955- 2005 use microfilm in Newspapers and Family History and Reading Rooms (Newspapers & Family History Reading RoomsR)

Infotrac newsstand's coverage of The Age begins on January 19, 1991 to present. Includes articles- no images or personal notices.

1993-1999 CD ROMS available in the Newspapers & Family History Reading RoomsR (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

Sep 2, 1996 - ProQuest Australia & New Zealand Newsstream: full-text articles from the Age- no images or personal notices

2006- current 'The Age' Digital Editions

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.

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

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.

Where to find the Herald Sun

10 Oct 1990- 30 June 2014: on microfilm in Newspapers and Family History Reading Room (FFHRR)

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.

Infotrac newsstand's coverage of the Herald Sun begins on December 27, 1995 to present. Includes articles- no images or personal notices.

1 July 2014- current until 3/ 4 weeks ago: Herald Sun database (onsite access only)

Current 3 months in hard copy in the Newspapers & Family History Reading RoomsR.

2001- ProQuest Australia & New Zealand Newsstream: full-text articles from the Herald Sun- no images or personal notices

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.

Digitised WWI Victorian papers

Search World War I newspapers on Trove by region, including Ballarat, Gippsland, Melbourne and Western Victoria.

Early Victorian newspapers

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. You can also search the tag gold rush newspapers to find a list of goldfields newspapers in our catalogue.