Historic Irish Newspapers


Locations: Offline

The largest collection of pre-1828 newspapers is held by the National Library of Ireland, though it is by no means comprehensive. Many unique copies are held in local libraries and other repositories. The Report of the NEWSPLAN Project in Ireland (NLI, 2nd ed., 1998) lists all known hard-copy and microfilm holdings of Irish newspapers. It is available as a database on the NLI website, www.nli.ie.

A number of indexes exist to the biographical material to be found in newspapers, which can greatly lighten the burden of research. The following list orders them by date.

Dates Title and reference
1730-40 Pue's Occurrences and the Dublin Gazette. Marriages and deaths. NLI Ms. 3197.
1737-1800 News Letter (Belfast). Biographical material. Online: .
1756-1827 Rosemary ffolliott's 'Index to Biographical Notices Collected from Newspapers, Principally Relating to Cork and Kerry, 1756-1827' transcribes all the notices from eleven Cork newspapers, together with relevant notices from a further eight Dublin and Leinster publications. Her 'Index to Biographical Notices in the Newspapers of Limerick, Ennis, Clonmel and Waterford, 1758-1821' covers eleven provincial and five Dublin newspapers. Between the two works almost all the surviving eighteenth-century notices for the southern half of the country are extracted. Copies are available in local libraries, DCLA, NLI and the library of the Society of Australian Genealogists.
1771-1818 Hibernian Chronicle (1771-1802) and Cork Mercantile Chronicle (1803-1818). Biographical notices. IGRS, London.
1772-84 Donald M. Schlegel, Irish Genealogical Abstracts from the Londonderry Journal, 1772-1784 (Baltimore, Md.: 1990; reprinted 2001).
1772-1812 Henry Farrar, Biographical Notices in Walker's Hibernian Magazine, 1772-1812 (Dublin: 1889). Online: , among other places
1792-1964 Northern Star (1792-7), Northern Herald (1833-6), Downpatrick Recorder/ (1836-86), Co. Down Spectator (1904-1964), Mourne Observer (1949-80), Newtownards Chronicle(1871-3). Southern Education and Library Board (Northern Ireland).
1828-64 Vol. 6 of Albert Casey's O'Kief, Coshe Mang etc. reprints the biographical notices from The Kerry Evening Post from 1828 to 1864 and includes them in the general index at the back of the volume.
1829-69 Births, marriages and deaths from The Ballymoney Northern Herald and Ulster General Advertiser (1860-63), The Coleraine Chronicle (1844-69) and The Londonderry Sentinel (1829-69). NIFHS CD-ROMs. See www.nifhs.org

Locations: Online

Two major online archives of Irish newspapers exist, www.irishnewsarchive.com and www.britishnewspaperarchives.co.uk. Both are subscription sites. The former began life as the online archive of the stable of newspapers now part of the Independent News and Media, including many provincial 19th and early 20th century titles. It has now expanded greatly. Its earliest titles are The Belfast News Letter from 1738, The Freeman's Journal from 1763, Finn's Leinster Journal, from 1768 and The Volunteer's Journal or Irish Herald from 1783 to 1787. The British Newspaper Archive is a commercial collaboration between the British Library and the online publisher D.C. Thomson and aims to scan the complete BL collection of historic newspapers and run the images through an optical character recognition process to create searchable electronic text. Its pre-1828 holdings of Irish material are limited but improving, with Saunders's News-Letter (Dublin, 1773 to 1871), The Dublin Evening Post (1778 to 1797), The Hibernian Journal Dublin (1773 to 1795) and The Dublin Courier (1760 to 1766). Ancestry.com has an image-only set, 'Ireland, Newspapers, 1763-1890' (dbid 50008) that appears to be part of the NLI microfilm collection. There are no transcripts, but many of the early nineteenth century publications imaged here have not been transcribed elsewhere.

The county-by-county listings on this site gives details by county of all dates covered by online newspaper archives.

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