Using newspapers for art, design and performing arts research

Pile of newspapers

Are you researching contemporary themes, artists, designers or performers? Have you thought about using newspapers to complement the academic sources you are using?

They can help you find out how themes are being covered in the media, you can access reviews of exhibitions and performances, and much more!

Newsstream contains online full-text access to over 600 UK regional, national and broadsheet newspapers as well as international press. The Library subscribes to this resource so you don’t have to pay to access it. Coverage goes back as far as January 1982 to the present day for some titles, although this varies by publication.

To help you do a health check on whether an information source is worth using or not, why not try using our Evaluating Information checklist.

News on television and radio

Remember, you might also be interested in how the news is reported on the TV and radio, and if you are in the United Kingdom you can use Box of Broadcasts (B0B) to do the same types of searching as you can in Newsstream for print media. More about how to do news research in BoB and on the web can be found here.

Why should I use Newsstream when I can just look on Google?

  1. No paywall in Newsstream – the library has paid on your behalf.
  2. Not just online content – you get the entire archive of what appeared in print and online. In free newspaper archives you never know what will be there and what won’t.
  3. See how the same event is covered by different newspapers and authors. Newsstream has all the content in one place, rather than having to go to each news outlet’s individual website.
  4. Newsstream sometimes has the pdf of the layout of print news magazines
  5. Search precisely and comprehensively – Newsstream is designed for research and scholarship whereas Google is designed to harvest your data.
  6. More!

My colleague Leah has created a 10-minute video tutorial which walks you through how to access Newsstream from anywhere you have Internet access. There’s a bit at the end that covers how to include a newspaper article in your assignment’s bibliography.


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