Why isn't my local newspaper online yet?

As you can imagine, the British Library's newspaper collection is huge. It's estimated that there's between 750 and 800 million pages in their collection. To digitise all of it would be a lifetime's work for our team.

We therefore have to prioritise the newspapers we add and the time periods that we cover. There are a number of factors that feed into this process:

1) Geographical coverage: our aim is to provide at least one newspaper from each area of the UK and Ireland where there is a significant population.

2) Time period coverage: we try to cover a broad time period so that researchers with different interests can benefit from the newspapers we offer.

3) Titles of interest and note: some newspapers can provide more than just news - we might decide to prioritise a title that has a special angle or opinion.

4) Topicality: we will often add extra newspapers covering a period or event of special interest. Our World War One coverage is an example of this.

5) Contracts: we sometimes negotiate contracts with publishers that require us to digitise a newspaper within a certain time frame.

6) What our customers want: you can now use 
our Feedback Forum to vote for newspapers that others have suggested, or suggest one for digitisation. If enough people vote for it, it will move up our priority list. 

Feedback and Knowledge Base