World Newspaper Archive

The World Newspaper Archive is an online database of digitized historical newspapers, created by CRL in partnership with Readex, a division of NewsBank. The initiative has drawn upon the holdings, expertise and resources of CRL and its member libraries to preserve and provide access to historical newspapers from around the globe.

The first four modules of the World Newspaper Archive focus on news from Latin America and the Caribbean (2 series), Sub-Saharan Africa (Series 1 and Series 2), and South Asia. The project will eventually encompass the news output of other major regions, including the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Eastern and Central Europe.

Project Description

Providing persistent electronic access to newspapers from the world’s regions is an important institutional priority for CRL Global Resources. With the explosive growth of international studies, these materials have become vital sources for historical and policy research.

Through a century of major, sustained investment in acquisition, documentation and preservation, CRL and its member libraries have amassed a large and valuable collection of newspapers from all regions of the world. Those libraries’ combined holdings in paper and micro-formats span four centuries and constitute an immense and incomparable body of historical and cultural evidence.

CRL and its members are working with Readex to provide the systematic digitization, Web delivery, and archiving of the back files of international newspapers that those libraries have long collected and preserved in paper and microform.

For a more detailed description of the program and its goals, see the World Newspaper Archive Prospectus

Access and Pricing

CRL members support the World Newspaper Archive through the following terms.

First, institutions may choose to invest in the startup costs of conversion through charter participation, providing funds to extend digitization and launch new activities. Charter contributors pay only nominal access fees for the collections each subsequent year and have a voice in setting priorities for future modules. All CRL members may participate in the charter investment.

Second, institutions may participate in ongoing access to the World Newspaper Archive through one-time purchase and minimal ongoing access fees. The purchase fees for CRL members are highly favorable, scaled to each institution’s library materials expenditures. Member investment is provided directly to CRL and goes back into the program for additional conversion activity. New CRL members may be assessed a one-time purchase fee for modules produced prior to their membership in CRL.

Sample pricing schemes and general Terms and Conditions of Use are available to members through CRL's eDesiderata platform. 


The World Newspaper Archive project has three major goals:

1. Community Access

Readex will provide electronic access to back files of newspapers from microform and paper holdings of CRL and several major newspaper repositories. Participating repositories include University of California–Berkeley, University of California–Los Angeles, University of Florida, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Harvard University, the New York Public Library, Princeton University, University of Texas–Austin, and the University of Washington. The World Newspaper Archive employs the robust and reliable platform for search and discovery that supports Readex Early American Newspapers and Hispanic American Newspapers collections. The annual access fee for each module is nominal for CRL members and partner libraries that have contributed support or content to create the collection.

In addition, CRL and Readex will make the digital files of WNA newspaper collections available to the libraries that contribute those collections to the effort. Those libraries may, at their discretion, make the digital files available for noncommercial, educational purposes. After an initial ten-year period, CRL may exercise its right to make the digital collection available in its entirety without restriction.

2. Persistence

CRL guarantees the long-term persistence and continued functionality of the news content for the CRL community. We will soon provide details of our plans for archiving the digital content created for the World Newspaper Archive. We aim to ensure not only persistent access, but CRL member control over the future costs and quality of that access.

Moreover, the process of locating and preparing these materials for digitization is generating valuable preservation metadata and information about the existent holdings of these rare materials. This “last-copy” information will be made available by CRL through the International Coalition on Newspaper (ICON) database, to guide librarians in their decisions about preserving and digitizing their local holdings. The project is also subsidizing the cost of replacing lost, damaged, or deteriorated microform copies of the newspapers.

3. Growth

Readex shares with CRL Global Resources a strong commitment to identifying and preserving primary source materials for international studies and research worldwide. This new working relationship will give the CRL library community a voice in the digital conversion of the news collections they have preserved for the past century in print and microform. We also hope, with Readex, to make available to the CRL community a growing collection of electronic news content on favorable terms.


The WNA cooperative arrangement, like the efforts that produced Early English Books Online (EEBO) and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), entails coinvestment by CRL, its members, and Readex.  To date, more than 60 CRL libraries have become Charter Participants in this endeavor. Charter contributors will have a voice in setting priorities for future modules, and will pay only a nominal annual access fee for the collection. 

The World Newspaper Archive is also available to other CRL libraries, on terms more favorable than those accorded to non-CRL member libraries.More an 100 CRL institituions have purchased access to one or more modules of WNA. See eDesiderata for additional information. 

Charter Participants- World Newspaper Archive



For more information on the WNA, contact CRL staff .