Newspapers provide a valuable source of information, giving a record of events and of the social climate of a period.
They may also include personal information such as obituaries which can be useful for researching family history.
Estate agents and auctioneers advertisements may be helpful to those investigating the history of a property.
Articles, reports and advertisements are all useful in providing information on the development of an area and its social history.
Some newspapers may be available in hard copy but others will be available on microfilm (see below). Periods covered may vary extensively as some newspapers may have changed title or ceased publication.
The availability of indexes to local newspapers varies widely. In instances where newspapers are not indexed, searching through newspapers can be very time consuming and it is not normally possible for library staff to undertake these searches on your behalf.
Where indexes do exist they can be complete or partial (covering a specified time period e.g. May 1914 - July 1921). Likewise, Your Library may hold a collection of local newspaper cuttings which are available for you to use.
The libraries below hold runs of historic newspapers for their area.
The William Salt Library in Stafford also hold a large collection of Staffordshire newspapers.
The national archive collections in the United Kingdom of British and overseas newspapers are held by the British Library Newspapers archive at Colindale, North London.
The practice of copying newspapers onto microfilm is to ensure that a copy of the newspaper will always be available, long after the original paper version has deteriorated.
Where microfilms of historical newspapers exist, this is how you'll be able to view them at Your Library.
"Newsplan" is a scheme involving public libraries and archives in the UK, the British Library, National Libraries of Scotland, Wales and Ireland and newspaper publishers.
The programme aims to safeguard historic and recent local newspapers through preservation and microfilm.
Details of all known newspaper titles in the West Midlands region (including Shropshire, Herefordshire and Warwickshire) are available online at www.newsplan.co.uk.
Covering some 1100 West Midlands newspaper titles dating back to the eighteenth century, it is possible to search by title, place and/or date of publication.
Copies of newspaper articles which are held on microfilm can be obtained from Burton, Cannock, Leek, Lichfield, Newcastle, Perton, Stafford and Tamworth Libraries.
A charge of £1.00 per A4 sheet is made, plus postage where appropriate.
Please note that it is not possible to duplicate a newspaper page in its entirety and that you'll need to complete an Order for Microprints from Newspaper form, which includes a copyright declaration.
Orders are processed in the order that they are received. There may be delays in busy times but a member of staff will be able to give you a guideline as to when you can expect your copy.