Jul
12
2009

Where Can I Find Free Newspaper Archives Online for Canada?

Canadian Rockies (Flickr Commons, PD)

Canadian Rockies (Flickr Commons, NKCR)

Online newspaper archives are a wonderful source for researching your ancestors, studying history, learning more about your family, hometown or roots, or simply browsing to learn what was happening in day-to-day life in earlier times. There are some wonderful free newspaper archives online covering history and news in Canada. Did I mention they’re free? Take a look!

Canadian newspapers and the Second World War. A rich resource for Canada’s important role in the Big One!

British Columbia, Canada newspaper archives, from 1926–present. A nice collection from the Terrace, BC Public Library, with an unusual search interface.  Worth a visit.

The British Colonist, British Columbia, 1859-1860. A few more items from BC.

The Prince George newspaper project, 1909-1961.  Still more from British Columbia; Newspapers from Prince George and Fort George, with more papers and years to be added.

Nechako Chronicle, 1928-1984 (British Columbia). Yet another BC archive from the Vanderhoof Library…they’re busy there in the North Country.

Toronto Star.  One of Canada’s major news publications, so I’ve included it here, though it’s only sort of free.  You can search its abysmally unfriendly interface at no cost, but if you want the full article, you’ll have to pay up.

Manitoba Newspaper Archives, 1859-present. A good, rich collection of more than a dozen newspapers in both French and English.

Winnipeg Free Press, 1874-2008. Another free archive from one of Manitoba’s main newspapers.

Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada Maritime Newspaper Archives, 19th and 20th centuries. Two papers are here: the Twillington Sun (1884-1924) and Le Gaboteur, in French (1984-1995),  Collections are browseable by date.  There are a number of other digital resources here as well.

Quebec Newspaper Archives, 1826-1978.  Over a dozen newspapers here, in French and English, naturellement. Browseable by date only, courtesy of the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec.

Alberta Newspaper Archive, 1885-2001.  A large archived collection, but only browseable, rather than text-searchable.  Sigh!

Canada Gazette: The Official Newspaper of the Government of Canada, 1841-1997.  A government publication, but surprisingly interesting.

Multicultural Canada.  Another sigh! This is an important collection representing Canada’s rich cultural diversity, but is poorly designed, and not well described.  Includes archives of Canadian India Times, Al Hilal, Voice of Pakistan, L’Ami duPeuple, and several Chinese and Vietnamese sources.

Special Editions of Canadian Newspapers.  Small but lovely.  These are  ‘special issue’ newspapers, such as Christmas editions, going back to 1885.

Halton Newspaper Index (Ontario). There are several local newspapers here, from this community near Toronto.  Archives are mosty from the 1950′s and onwards, though there are sporadic issues from earlier as well.

NewspaperArchives.com. This is a fee-based resource, but is such an amazing archive collection that I had to list it anyway.  Their holdings from Canada include about a dozen newspapers, going back to the mid-1800′s.  Well worth a look.

If readers know of additional sources that should be added here, please leave a suggestion in Comments, and I’ll be sure to have a look.

Happy hunting!

David Sarokin

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4 Comments

  • Mr Data says:

    Don’t sign up for Newspaper archives.com as I have seen horror stories about non-existent customor service and once you sign up they won’t let you easily cancel your service.

    To find such stories Google is your friend.

  • Mr Data says:

    Most of the links are either broken or require a library card.

  • Ian Welch says:

    This comment does not match my experience. I found newspaper archives.com an excellent service. Google cannot provide the kind of archival access that this site and similar provide. The best online service I have found, so far, is the New Zealand one. The isolation of NZ (and Aust) meant that coverage of major world news was first class, especially after the telegraphic cable was connected in the 1870s.

  • Pete L. says:

    Newspaperarchives.com makes you jump through many hoops to cancel. It felt very sleazy.

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