Welsh Newspapers Online Beta is a free online resource from the National Library of Wales where you can discover millions of articles from the Library’s rich collection of historical newspapers.
Welsh Newspapers Online Beta currently lets you search and access over 420,000 pages from 40 newspaper publications generally up to 1910 and will grow to over 1 million pages as more publications are added during 2013. This resource will also include some newspaper content that is being digitised by The Welsh Experience of World War One project and some publications will grow to include editions published up to 1919.
Welsh Newspapers Online Beta is part-funded by the Strategic Capital Investment Fund and the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
Welsh Newspapers Beta is still in development and we will be fixing the following bugs and adding the following features over the next few months:
In the meantime, please let us know what you think about the site using the 'Contact Us' link located on the bottom of every page.
Newspaper publishing came late to Wales compared to the rest of the UK and the first printing press was established in 1718. Wales experienced radical social change during the first half of the 19th century and newspaper publishing was a response to the nation’s increasing political awareness, increasing population and the rich industrial economy.
The first newspaper to be published in Wales was The Cambrian, in Swansea in 1804. Swansea at that time was beginning to develop into a busy commercial and industrial town, with the communications infrastructure that was necessary for the distribution of the newspaper to the minority of English speakers and readers in the principal towns of South Wales. North Wales followed soon afterwards with its first weekly, The North Wales Gazette, established in Bangor in 1808 by the Broster family of Chester. Two years later The Carmarthen Journal was to appear, which sought its readership in west Wales.
The first Welsh language weekly to be published was Seren Gomer, founded by Joseph Harris in 1814. Unlike the others already mentioned, Seren Gomer saw itself as a national newspaper, which sought to serve the whole of Wales and strengthen the Welsh language.
The first daily newspaper to be published in Wales was The Cambrian Daily Leader (1861) but it was the Western Mail (1869) that was to become Wales’ foremost daily newspaper and it continues as such today.
The scanning of the collection was undertaken at the National Library of Wales following investment in a new digitisation studio, specialist scanning units and workflow management tools to provide the capacity for a team of dedicated staff to prepare and scan each page.
The preparation team recorded the issue dates and page numbers (metadata) before they were passed on to the digitisation team for scanning. The condition and quality of the volumes vary greatly and in some cases conservation work was undertaken before fragile and damaged pages were scanned.
The digital scans, essentially ‘digital photographs’ of the pages, were subsequently processed with specialist Optical Character Recognition software to render the text searchable and a separate semi-automated process identified the different articles on the page.
All digital files will be safeguarded in perpetuity in the National Library of Wales's robust digital asset management system which has been significantly extended to provide the optimal storage capacity for this collection.
Welsh Newspapers Online Beta will continue to grow throughout 2013 to include the following publications. Please note that the digital collection reflects the physical holdings of the National Library of Wales and not all newspaper issues for the years specified will be available.
|Aberdare Leader||1902-1910; 1913-1919||New|
|Aberystwyth Observer||1858-1861; 1864-1900; 1902-1910||Available|
|Aberystwyth Visitor's List and Guide||1887||2013-2014|
|Baner ac Amserau Cymru||1857-1910||2013-2014|
|Barry Dock News||1889-1910||2013-2014|
|Brecon County Times||1866-1869; 1900; 1905-1910||2013-2014|
|Brython Cymreig||1892-1901; 1906-1910||Available|
|Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald||1836-1910||2013-2014|
|Cambrian||1804-1846; 1870-1884; 1886-1910||Available|
|Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian||1845-1874||Available|
|Cardigan Bay Visitor||1887-1903||2013-2014|
|Carmarthen Journal||1810-1812; 1828-1831; 1889-1893; 1901-1910||2013-2014|
|Carmarthen Weekly Reporter||1860-1910||2013-2014|
|Colwyn Bay & North Wales Weekly News||1892; 1894-1907||Available|
|County Echo [Pembrokeshire]||1901-1910||2013-2014|
|County Observer and Monmouthshire Central Advertiser||1867-1878; 1881-1884; 1899-1908||Available|
|Cymro a'r Celt Llundain||1907-1910||Available|
|Cymro [Lerpwl a'r Wyddgrug]||1890-1907||Available|
|Denbighshire Free Press||1882-1910||2013-2014|
|Dydd||1868-1870; 1872-1890; 1892-1910||Available|
|Flintshire Observer||1864-1900; 1907-1910||2013-2014|
|Glamorgan Free Press||1897-1899||2013-2014|
|Glamorgan Gazette||1894-1895; 1906-1910||2013-2014|
|Glamorgan, Monmouth and Brecon Gazette||1832-1843||2013-2014|
|Goleuad||1869-1910||1869-1900 2013-2014; 1901-1910 Available|
|Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph||1857-1910||2013-2014|
|Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder||1897||2013-2014|
|Illustrated Usk Observer||1855-1866||Available|
|Llais y Wlad||1874-1884||Available|
|Llandudno Advertiser and List of Visitors||1896-1910||2013-2014|
|Llanelly Mercury||1897; 1909-1910||2013-2014|
|Llangollen Advertiser||1868-1873; 1875-1903; 1905-1908||Available|
|London Kelt - Celt Llundain||1895-1904||Available|
|London Welshman - Cymro Llundain||1904-1906||Available|
|Merthyr Express||1864-1869; 1909-1910||2013-2014|
|Montgomery County Times||1893-1900||New|
|Montgomeryshire Express and Radnor Times||1892-1908||New|
|North Wales Chronicle||1827-1900||2013-2014|
|North Wales Express||1878-1910||Available|
|North Wales Gazette||1808-1816; 1823-1825||2013-2014|
|North Wales Times||1897-1900||2013-2014|
|North Wales Weekly News||1909-1910||Available|
|Papur Pawb||1893-1904; 1909-1910||Available|
|Pembroke County Guardian||1901-1910||2013-2014|
|Pembrokeshire Herald||1844-1891; 1901-1910||Available|
|Pontypool Free Press||1859-1869; 1872-1893||2013-2014|
|Pontypridd Chronicle||1881-1883; 1886-1905||2013-2014|
|Potter's Electric News||1859-1868||Available|
|Rhyl Record and Advertiser||1888-1910||Available|
|Seren Cymru||1851-1852; 1856-1857; 1860-1910||Available|
|South Wales Daily News||1872-1900||2013-2014|
|South Wales Daily Post||1893-1900; 1910||Available|
|South Wales Echo||1880-1882; 1885-1900||2013-2014|
|South Wales Star||1891-1894||Available|
|Swansea Gazette and Daily Shipping Register||1909-1910||Available|
|Tarian y Gweithiwr||1875-1910||Available|
|Tenby Observer||1854-1860; 1867-1889; 1909-1910||2013-2014|
|Towyn on Sea and Merioneth County Times||1897-1905||2013-2014|
|Tyst a'r Dydd||1871-1891||2013-2014|
|Welsh Coast Pioneer||1900-1910||2013-2014|
|Wrexham Weekly Advertiser||1854-1900||2013-2014|
|Wythnos a'r Eryr||1899-1903; 1909-1910||2013-2014|
The Library is committed to sharing the data behind the Newspapers Online website. Access to the APIs that the website is built on with be available soon.