NEWSPLAN Project

The NEWSPLAN project originated in the mid-nineteen eighties as a co-operative preservation project for newspapers in Ireland and the United Kingdom. There are ten regions involved in NEWSPLAN, one region comprising Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The aim of the NEWSPLAN project is to preserve newspapers through a microfilming programme that protects hardcopy holdings while making the content readily available to the public. The success of the project is based on the co-operation of national libraries, public libraries, academic libraries, private libraries and the newspaper industry. It was decided that the most efficient means to preserve newspapers over the long term, while allowing access to the content, was to reproduce that content in another medium. It was decided that microfilm, produced to archival standard, was the best surrogate preservation and access format available. Each region published a report, listing the holdings of all existing files of newspapers in the region and allocating priorities for microfilming based on

  • The condition of the hardcopy files
  • The level of use
  • The uniqueness of the file

The first report for Ireland was published in 1992, and a revised edition was published in 1998. The Report has been updated again and is now available in database form on this site. The report was not intended to act a bibliographic resource, but it has come to be widely used in this way and seems to be a very useful research tool.

National Library Microfilm Unit

The National Library Microfilm Unit is located in the Technical Services building at Leinster Lane, Dublin. The aim is to provide a high quality product in accordance with international standards. Preparation, filming and processing are all carried out in house. Great emphasis is placed on the preparation of the material for microfilming, and all films undergo a rigorous quality control process.

In line with the recommendations of the Report of the NEWSPLAN project in Ireland, newspaper files are filmed according to the priority status allocated in the Report. We try to adopt as flexible an approach as possible in accepting orders for microfilming, however at present we can only  accept orders for those newspaper files allocated priority one status in the NEWSPLAN report.

List of Microfilms for sale

The National Library has a limited range of Irish newspapers on microfilm for sale. For more information, see the Newspapers on Microfilm page.