Primary sources

Official publications

Official publications contain a range of historic information. Since its foundation, the Library has collected material published by governments on a global basis. This information comes in a variety of forms such as reports of working parties, departmental publications and parliamentary papers.

Government documents

The Library is strongest in publications published by the British government and the United States Federal government. These pages contain information about how to find material in these collections. Consult the Governmental and Intergovernmental publications pages to find out about other countries.

Intergovernmental organisations

The Library holds specialist status as a European Documentation Centre and as a United Nations depository.

For documents relating to the above collections you may need to use specialist databases such as Europa and AccessUN. Further finding aids are available via the above pages.

There is a large collection of materials published by IGO's held in the Library. Further information is available on the Intergovernmental Organisations page.


Many daily papers such as The Times and the Guardian will be freely available online but not all daily papers will be. Some may the current day or week but will charge for access to earlier dates, for example, the New York Times.

The two main databases LSE has to access news articles are Nexis UK and Factiva. These provide the full text of articles from a huge range of newspaper but do not include any images or the original page layout. The Library also has a number of databases covering back-runs of particular newspapers which do contain images.

A full list of the Library's newspaper subscription databases is available. The LSE Library's Delicious pages contain links to some freely avilable news sources.

Nexis UK
Provides the full text of newpapers and newswire services from around the world. It includes the full text of UK daily newspapers from 1980 to the present day. It is updated daily.

Also has extensive English language and foreign coverage. The emphasis is on business and trade news. Note that LSE only has 5 concurrent log ins.

Proquest Historical newspapers
This includes the full text of the Guardian 1821-2003 and the Observer 1791-2003. It also include  images and displays the original page layout.

Times Digital Archive 1785-2008
Full text of the famous newspaper. Includes scanned images of photographs and original advertisements.

Financial Times Historical Archive 1888-2009
Contains the full text of every article printed in these years. It can be searched or browsed article by article and page by page.
Unlimited access to’s award-winning news, comment and analysis from 500 journalists reporting from over 50 countries.


For information on the Library's archival holdings and services, see the Archives pages.