Newspapers provide a vivid picture of life in the past as well as in the present and they are a popular and heavily used source for many kinds of historical research. By their very nature they are not intended to last indefinitely. Because old newspapers become acidic and brittle with time, they present libraries with a major conservation problem.
Libraries throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland are cooperating in the Newsplan programme. The first phase of Newsplan identified surviving newspaper files throughout the United Kingdom, and details of holdings were published in a series of regional reports. The Report of the Newsplan project in Wales was published in 1994 and is the basis for this web site.
The second phase of Newsplan has concentrated on microfilming newspapers up to 1950, and has been driven mainly by Newsplan 2000, a charitable trust supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the newspaper industry, the British Library, the National Library of Scotland and the National Library of Wales. The work of Newsplan in Wales is coordinated by the Newsplan Cymru Implementation Committee.
By making high-quality, preservation-standard microfilm of original newspapers, the master negatives can be preserved when the original newspapers have deteriorated. Copies of the negatives can be used as viewing copies or scanned to provide on-line digital access.
This site provides information about the work of Newsplan Cymru and access to a database of Welsh newspapers available in libraries either in paper form or on microfilm. It also provides links to other sites providing information about Newsplan and about other newspapers published in the United Kingdom and Ireland.