Historic Newspaper Archive

Largest Archive in the World – dating back to 1685

Historic Newspapers are proud and privileged to own the largest private archive of British newspapers in the world.

Times Books in Wigtown Archive

With over 7m papers dating back to 1685, Historic Newspapers have titles for every day going back to 1810. Some of these are extremely rare and cover such news events as Trafalgar, Waterloo, the gruesome coverage of Jack the Ripper, famous battles, and more recently Lunar Landings and 9-11.

The archive has been built over many years from various sources: initially from the newspaper group’s original archives as they moved out of Fleet Street in the 80s, and continues today, as virtually all the national Scottish and English newspaper titles send us their daily editions. Papers are also continually being sourced from libraries and other collections from all over the world.

For centuries up until the last few years, newspaper back copies for each month were bound in leather binders to preserve and protect them and allow researchers easy access. This is how the vast majority of our archive papers are now stored. When a newspaper is sold, the paper is carefully removed out of the binding, and expertly prepared for sale.

It is often asked… "what are the right climatic conditions to store these precious and increasingly rare newspapers?" The answer! Avoid hot, bright and dry conditions. It is no coincidence therefore that this historical archive is preserved and stored on the coast in S.W Scotland near Scotland’s National Book town - Wigtown in Dumfries and Galloway.

Newspaper Shop in Newton Stewart

Original newspapers have become popular gifts because they are truly personal and such a great commemorative gift for key events like a Silver Wedding Anniversary or 50th birthday. They have become a significant gift purchase and are now sold by many well known retailers including WHSmith and most mail order companies.

Would we sell the last paper for a date? The answer is yes, but we have scanned every Times and Daily Mirror over the last 100 years, so we are leaving a record for prosterity and someone will hold the original archive.

With the digital archive, and under licence from The Times and Daily Mirror, the newspaper gift market has expanded further with reproductions of newspapers bound in books covering a selected date or major news events, including our best selling football books, which reproduce top match reports of a favourite team over the last 100 years - over 50 team editions now available.

No other newspaper archive outside The British Library can rival this, and all papers are available for purchase.