Finding newspapers online - Trove

Learning intention

Students explore the Trove archive and develop online search strategies to help navigate large catalogues and databases.

Students will:

  • Identify and locate relevant sources, using ICT and other methods 
  • Identify the origin, purpose and context of primary and secondary sources 
  • Process and synthesise information from a range of sources for use as evidence in an historical argument 


Trove is the National Library of Australia’s search platform; providing access to over 400 million resources including pictures, manuscripts, newspapers, journals, maps, books and music from the collections of state libraies around the courntry.

Trove's newpaper archive, Australian newspapers online, lets you keyword search over 140 million articles from 785 publications with new titles added every day. Historical newspapers are a marvellous source of information, providing insights into everyday life, images and advertisements from the past as well as information on everything from family and local history to significant historical events.


Document study - student template [Word 11.34 KB]


As a warm up, give students one minute to write down three things they think happened on this day a year ago. Then ask them to repeat the task but think about what would have been happening on this day ten years ago. Repeat the activity one last time for 100 years ago. Ask students to share their ideas.

Go to the Trove newspaper archive and introduce students to the On this day section on the right hand side of the page.

Ask students:

  • When was the featured newspaper published?
  • What was the key information you needed to work that out? (dates are crucial when using newpapers as a source)
  • What do you notice about the format of the newspaper? How is it the same/different to a modern newspaper?
  • What does the newspaper tell you about what was happening at the time?

Talks about why historical newspapers are useful for research and what kinds of information you might find in one.If you have a date for a significant event, chances are you'll be able to find first hand accounts in newspapers from the time.

Show students how to use the search functions in Trove using this short video - Finding newspapers on Trove.

Ask students to search Trove for today's date, their birthday, or a 100 years ago using the Find an issue - by Date function. Students can choose from the available issues, perhaps one that is from the local area. Ask students to skim the issue and find an article of interest. Students can then:

  • have a go at fixing the text if it's incorrect
  • save a PDF or JPG copy of the article
  • analyse article using the Document study template

More to explore

Once students are familiar with using Trove to search digitised newspapers, they can move on to searching the database by subject, person or event. Students can find a range of primary and secondary sources on their research subject by using Trove.

If they have any questions or problems about using Trove, have a look at the NLA's Using digitised newspapers FAQ.

Other online newpaper archives to explore:

The Times Digital Archive

The New York Times online

The Sydney Morning Herald Archive

List of international news archives - Wikipedia