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 250,000 pages from 24 newspaper publications up to 1910 and will grow to over 1 million pages as more publications are added during 2013.
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||June 2013|
|Abergavenny Chronicle||1909-1910||Summer 2013|
|Aberystwyth Observer||1858-1861; 1864-1900; 1902-1910||Available|
|Aberystwyth Times||1868-1870||Summer 2013|
|Aberystwyth Visitor's List and Guide||1887||Summer 2013|
|Baner ac Amserau Cymru||1857-1910||Summer 2013|
|Barry Dock News||1889-1910||May 2013|
|Barry Herald||1896-1910||Summer 2013|
|Brecon County Times||1866-1869; 1900; 1905-1910||Summer 2013|
|Brecon Reporter||1865-1867||Summer 2013|
|Brython Cymreig||1892-1901; 1906-1910||Summer 2013|
|Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald||1836-1910||May 2013|
|Cambrian||1804-1860; 1870-1910||May 2013|
|Cambrian News||1860-1910||May 2013|
|Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian||1845-1874||Available|
|Cardiff Times||1858-1910||May 2013|
|Cardigan Bay Visitor||1887-1903||Summer 2013|
|Cardigan Observer||1878-1897||Summer 2013|
|Carmarthen Journal||1810-1812; 1828-1831; 1889-1893; 1901-1910||Summer 2013|
|Carmarthen Weekly Reporter||1860-1910||May 2013|
|Cheshire Observer||1901-1908||Summer 2013|
|Chester Courant||1897-1908||Summer 2013|
|Clorianydd||1897-1907; 1909-1910||Summer 2013|
|Colwyn Bay & North Wales Weekly News||1892; 1894-1907||June 2013|
|County Echo [Pembrokeshire]||1901-1910||Summer 2013|
|County Observer and Monmouthshire Central Advertiser||1867-1878; 1881-1884; 1899-1908||Available|
|Cymro a'r Celt Llundain||1907-1910||Summer 2013|
|Cymro [Lerpwl a'r Wyddgrug]||1890-1907||Summer 2013|
|Demetian Mirror||1840||Summer 2013|
|Denbighshire Free Press||1882-1910||Summer 2013|
|Drych||1875-1878; 1881-1900||May 2013|
|Dydd||1868-1870; 1872-1890; 1892-1910||Available|
|Flintshire Observer||1864-1900; 1907-1910||Summer 2013|
|Genedl Gymreig||1877-1900||Summer 2013|
|Glamorgan Free Press||1897-1899||Summer 2013|
|Glamorgan Gazette||1894-1895; 1906-1910||Summer 2013|
|Glamorgan, Monmouth and Brecon Gazette||1832-1843||Summer 2013|
|Goleuad||1869-1910||1869-1900 Summer 2013; 1901-1910 Available|
|Gwalia||1883; 1897-1910||Summer 2013|
|Gwyliedydd Newydd||1910||Summer 2013|
|Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph||1857-1910||Summer 2013|
|Herald Cymraeg||1901-1910||Summer 2013|
|Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder||1897||Summer 2013|
|Illustrated Usk Observer||1855-1866||Available|
|Llais y Wlad||1874-1884||Summer 2013|
|Llandudno Advertiser and List of Visitors||1896-1910||Summer 2013|
|Llanelly Mercury||1897; 1909-1910||Summer 2013|
|Llanelly Star||1910||Summer 2013|
|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||Summer 2013|
|Merthyr Telegraph||1855-1881||Summer 2013|
|Monmouthshire Merlin||1829-1884||May 2013|
|Montgomery County Times||1893-1900||Summer 2013|
|Montgomeryshire Express and Radnor Times||1892-1910||Summer 2013|
|North Wales Chronicle||1827-1900||Summer 2013|
|North Wales Express||1878-1910||Summer 2013|
|North Wales Gazette||1808-1816; 1823-1825||Summer 2013|
|North Wales Times||1897-1900||Summer 2013|
|North Wales Weekly News||1909-1910||Summer 2013|
|Papur Pawb||1893-1904; 1909-1910||June 2013|
|Pembroke County Guardian||1901-1910||Summer 2013|
|Pembrokeshire Herald||1844-1891; 1901-1910||Available|
|Penarth Chronicle||1895||Summer 2013|
|Pontypool Free Press||1859-1869; 1872-1893||Summer 2013|
|Pontypridd Chronicle||1881-1883; 1886-1905||Summer 2013|
|Potter's Electric News||1859-1868||Available|
|Rhedegydd||1878-1879; 1893-1910||Summer 2013|
|Rhondda Leader||1899-1910||Summer 2013|
|Rhos Herald||1909-1910||Summer 2013|
|Rhyl Advertiser||1878-1887||Summer 2013|
|Rhyl Journal||1889-1910||Summer 2013|
|Rhyl Record and Advertiser||1888-1910||Summer 2013|
|Seren Cymru||1851-1852; 1856-1857; 1860-1910||Available|
|Seren Gomer||1814-1815||Summer 2013|
|South Wales Daily News||1872-1900||Summer 2013|
|South Wales Daily Post||1893-1900; 1910||May 2013|
|South Wales Echo||1880-1882; 1885-1900||Summer 2013|
|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||Summer 2013|
|Towyn on Sea and Merioneth County Times||1897-1905||Summer 2013|
|Tyst a'r Dydd||1871-1891||June 2013|
|Tyst Cymreig||1867-1870||Summer 2013|
|Weekly Mail||1879-1910||May 2013|
|Welsh Coast Pioneer||1900-1910||Summer 2013|
|Welsh Gazette||1899-1910||Summer 2013|
|Western Mail||1869-1900||Summer 2013|
|Wrexham Guardian||1875-1879||Summer 2013|
|Wrexham Weekly Advertiser||1854-1900||Summer 2013|
|Wythnos a'r Eryr||1899-1903; 1909-1910||Summer 2013|
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.