This listing of holdings of US newspapers in UK and Irish libraries was initially planned by the American Studies Library Group in cooperation with BAAS, as an updating of D.K. Adams: American Newspaper Holdings in British and Irish Libraries (Keele: BAAS, 1974).

The Project Officer at that time, Linda Williamson, sent out questionnaires, asking for confirmation of holdings, additions and deletions from the original list, to all libraries who had notified holdings for the original volume, in Winter 1994, and plans were made for collation and bibliographical research to be carried out at Rhodes House Library by Linda Williamson and Silvia Hildebrand.

The initial intention was to collate the information and to verify all bibliographical details of every title submitted. In the end such detailed research proved impossible with the limited resources available. In the meantime the Eccles Centre at the British Library published a list of its US and Canadian newspaper holdings, (Jean Kemble and Pam Das: United States and Canadian Holdings in the British Library Newspaper Library, London: The Eccles Centre for American Studies, 1996) and a survey carried out by the Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries (SCURL) North American Studies Group mounted a Scottish union list of US and Canadian newspaper holdings in Scottish libraries on the website of the National Library of Scotland. The BAAS Library and Resources Sub-committee, successor to the American Studies Library Group, decided that these two listings might form a useful basis for carrying forward the project.

Following the departure of Linda Williamson the project was taken over by Dr Kevin Halliwell at the National Library of Scotland, who had produced the Scottish listing. The information on Scottish holdings was merged into the basic file from the British Library. The decision was taken not to undertake detailed bibliographical research on the titles and to accept the information as provided by the individual libraries, as far as possible. Equally, it was decided not to impose a definition of ‘newspaper’ on the libraries who submitted titles and always to include information in cases of doubt.

It has not been possible to reflect some of the changes in holdings that have inevitably taken place during the life of the project. Notably, a change in the British Library’s retention policy means that the information on holdings of original copies provided here may now be out-of-date. Researchers are requested to check with the British Library. Also, no attempt has been made to include access to electronic versions of newspapers, now frequently provided by university and research libraries. Limited resources available in some libraries have made the provision of detailed information difficult, and it has not been possible to include details of ceased titles in the TUC Collections at the University of North London.

Any corrections, clarifications, additions and deletions should be sent to Mike Collins.

It is hoped that the present format will provide a useful research tool. Finally an expression of thanks to UMI who provided financial sponsorship in the initial stages of the project.