Top 5 Search Tips Revealed at WDYTYA Live | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Top 5 Search Tips Revealed at WDYTYA Live

We were thrilled with the number of people who visited our stand at Who Do You Think You Are? Live in Birmingham between 6 April and 8 April.  Many wanted to get to know more about the website.  We also spoke to long-term users who did not know about some of the new features or wanted to know if we had any search tips.  Here are the top 5 search tips we discussed with our visitors:

1. Search outside your region

If you are searching for an event that occurred in Yorkshire in 1900, try searching all of the English newspapers. The event may have been reported in papers from the surrounding counties or even picked up by a national title.

2. Search for words that would be in the article

For example, when you are searching for a person who participated in the First World War, do not search for ‘First World War’ because in 1915 there was only one war, no one knew the second would occur.  Also, use the filters on the left side to search for a date instead of typing the date into the search bar.  Remember, the search bar is looking for words within the article. The date will not be repeated in every article.

Zero results for “First World War” between the years 1910 and 1919.


3. Refresh the page to remove the text and article highlights

We know many of you like to download the images or snip them from the site for your personal records. However, when you are adding the image to your records you might not want the article highlighted or the text box visible.   Use the ‘refresh’ button in the top left corner to refresh the whole page and remove all the highlights and text boxes.


Refresh button
Page after refresh


4. Check the title page

Do you want to know more about a title or what years are/will be available on the British Newspaper Archive? Go to the title page. You can access the title page by either selecting a title from the homepage or our full list of titles. Then select the ‘More details’ button.

More details


Title page


5. Always come back and search again

Every week the British Newspaper Archives scans up to 100,000 pages and we are always adding new editions to existing titles we have online and adding new titles. As a customer, this means if you do not find what you are looking for today, try again in a week or month and we may have added the newspaper edition you need.


Explore more search tips


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