Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Newspaper access via British Newspaper Archive and FindmyPast

I've just received an email from the British Newspaper Archive ( about new 'improvements' - but thankfully it's an email pointing out changes that have already recently happened. (I don't think I can take much more by way of 'improved' websites these days...!)

However, one thing worth flagging up is that the British Newspaper Archive has recently started offering a new monthly subscription at a rate of £9.95 a month. This is in fact the same monthly rate being offered by its sister site FindmyPast ( - which also offers access to the British Newspaper Archives in its 'UK' subscription, although its Irish titles are not included in this version. (Sorry Northern Ireland - their rules!) For these, you will need to have the World subscription, at £12.95 a month.

If you are only looking to research in Britain, ordinarily this would mean that signing up to FindmyPast would be a much better deal for the same subscription rate, as you would get the mainland British titles as well as everything else that the FindmyPast site offers in its 'UK' subscription. So what's the downside? Well, it is access to the new version of the FindmyPast website - and to say that it has a few issues to deal with just now is probably the understatement of the year. (I'm just back from a library in Scotland which has a corporate access to the website, and I heard the librarian there apologising profusely this morning to another customer about how it used to be brilliant, and now err... isn't quite so brilliant). However, some of the site works better than other parts, so it may still be a better deal. Personally, even before the update to FMP, I preferred to use the BNA site separately, but the options are there (it is also accessible via the Genes Reunited site at, but not at the same rate as these two sites)..

Don't forget that my new book - British and Irish Newspapers - published in Australia, is now available both as a paperback and as an ebook (PDF format) from Gould Genealogy - via (paperback) or (ebook). It not only covers how to get around the British Newspaper Archive, it also focuses on many other online offerings, and shows how to locate many titles not digitised and available only in  libraries across the two islands. The print copy is AU$23 (about £12.50), whilst the ebook is much cheaper if you are in the UK, retailing at AU$7.95 (about £4.30).


Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And FindmyPast - please reinstate the original Scottish census citations on your new site.

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