Newspaper Collections

Historic Newspapers Online

You can search the following historic newspapers online at Devon Heritage Centre in Exeter, and North Devon Record Office in Barnstaple.  Others are also available at home, either free of charge or by subscription.

British Newspaper Archive

This recently launched website contains images of many historic regional and local newspapers from the British Library’s collections, with more being added all the time.  It is being created through a partnership between the British Library and Brightsolid online publishing to digitise up to 40 million newspaper pages from the British Library's vast collection over the next 10 years.

The Devon newspapers included on this website as at February 2016 are as follows:

  • Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 1827 – 1950
  • Exeter and Plymouth Gazette Daily Telegrams 1869 – 1885
  • Express and Echo  1910-1940
  • (Trewman’s) Exeter Flying Post 1800 – 1900
  • North Devon Gazette 1856 – 1870
  • North Devon Journal 1824 – 1950
  • Plymouth and Devonport Weekly Journal and General Advertiser for Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset 1832
  • Royal Devonport Telegraph, and Plymouth Chronicle 1832
  • Tiverton Gazette (Mid-Devon Gazette) 1860 – 1939
  • Torbay Express and South Devon Echo 1939 – 1949
  • Torquay Times, and South Devon Advertiser 1872
  • Totnes Weekly Times 1869 - 1871
  • Western Courier, West of England Conservative, Plymouth and Devonport Advertiser 1836 - 1854
  • Western Times 1827-1950
  • Western Morning News 1894 - 1950

Other South-west England newspapers which often contained Devon news articles and are found on this website include:

  • Sherborne Mercury (Sherborne, Dorset) 1748-1867
  • Dorset County Chronicle (Dorchester, Dorset) 1824-1867
  • Somerset County Gazette (Taunton) 1839-1878
  • Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser 1810 - 1950
  • Western Gazette (Yeovil) 1863-1950
  • Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette 1760 - 1950
  • Western Daily Press  (Bristol)  1858-1949
  • West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser (Truro) 1862-1939
  • Cornishman (Penzance) 1878-1950
  • Cornish Times (Liskeard) 1857-1866
  • Cornubian and Redruth Times (Redruth) 1867 - 1925

Note that the website provides an alphabetical list of all newspaper titles available through the site.

Searching the index is free to all users, but you have to pay for full access – i.e. to download the digitised/scanned copies of newspaper articles, unless you have free access or a subscription, as described here:

  • Free access to the British Newspaper Archive is now available to visitors through our Find My Past subscription at Devon Heritage Centre at Sowton, Exeter and at North Devon Record Office, Barnstaple.  
  • If you already have a home subscription to Find My, you will also have free access to the British Newspaper Archive website.  
  • Access to this and a number of other specialised newspaper websites is free if you visit the British Library reading rooms in London.
  • Devon Family History Society offers access to the British Newspaper Archive through its Find My Past subscription for visitors to its research centre at Tree House in King Street, Exeter.
  • Access to the British Newspaper Archive is also available through individual home subscription for a period of either 2, 7 or 30 days or 12 months.

London Gazette

Includes links to the websites for the Edinburgh Gazette and Belfast Gazette.

Especially useful for military and civil service appointments, promotions, bankruptcies, business partnerships, notices about chancery cases, wills and estates.

You can currently search the website of the London Gazette and its associated Gazettes for free at home or elsewhere.  

Australian Newspapers Online

Australian Newspapers Online is a free website containing digitized copies of over 9 million pages from Australian newspapers.  These are digitised by the National Library of Australia, and more are being added.   Family historians tracing Devon ancestors and relatives who emigrated may find this website useful.   Note that news and articles about people and events in Britain were often published in Australian colonial newspapers.   

The site is part of the Trove-NLA website, which includes over 341 million Australian and online resources, including books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives, archived websites, and other sources.

Papers Past (New Zealand)

A free website containing digitized copies of historic New Zealand newspapers.  

Papers Past contains more than two million pages of digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals. The collection covers the years 1839 to 1945.  It includes publications from all regions of New Zealand and is still being added to.  Family historians tracing Devon ancestors and relatives who emigrated to New Zealand will find the shipping news, births, deaths and marriages of particular interest.