African newspapers

Gold Coast Times 31 March 1875
Front page of the Gold Coast Times, 31 March 1875 (shelfmark: MFM.MC1786)

We have very rich and extensive collections of historical newspapers published in Africa, in both European and African languages.

About the collection

Our newspaper collection offers extremely valuable material for anyone researching the history of African countries. Today, we collect African news media very selectively.

The collection is predominantly in English, but it also includes material in French, Afrikaans, IsiZulu and other African languages.

What is available online?

To search for newspapers, use Explore the British Library, our main catalogue.

For current African newspapers you can use aggregator sites such as and Allafrica.

ilissAfrica has a guide to African newspapers and newspapers on Africa.

What is available in our Reading Rooms?

Our newspapers are available in the Newsroom where you can also view an archive of the ‘Network Africa' television news programme from Channels 24, a Nigerian broadcaster.

As well as hard-copy publications, a wide variety of digitised newspaper collections is available in our Reading Rooms (for licensing reasons, these are not usually available off-site). They include:

  • African Newspapers, a digitised collection of historic newspapers published in Africa up to 1922 (also available remotely to holders of a British Library Reader Pass)
  • Africa-Wide, a reference database containing numerous records of books and journals as well as some full-text resources, including newspaper reports
  • NewsBank Access World News, which includes summaries of news media reports from Africa, from 1995 to the present
  • Foreign Broadcast Information Services Daily Reports, 1941–96, a US archive of transcribed and translated news broadcasts
  • digitised collections of British newspapers that hold considerable information about Africa. Collections include the British Newspaper Archive (mainly 19th century) and British Newspapers 1600-1950.

What is available in other organisations?

To research other UK libraries’ collections use COPAC, the joint catalogue.

How to guides

How to get a Reader Pass if you are under 18

How to apply for an under 18 Reader Pass

Researching television and radio news

We have been recording television and radio news programmes broadcast in the UK since May 2010 - only accessible in our Reading Rooms

Researching newspapers

There are online newspaper resources available in the Newsroom, including both UK and international newspapers.

Get a Reader Pass

Access over 170 million collection items for free with a Reader Pass.

How to order images

Instructions on how to order images of the British Library's collections from our Imaging Services