The Irish Times Archive: Back Issue Newspapers

The Irish Times Archive: Back Issue Newspapers

Why Should I Browse Newspaper Archives?

Newspapers give us a level of insight into daily life unmatched in its intimacy. While you can find the stories themselves online, a printed copy of the paper shows details not easily noticed elsewhere. For example, a simple glance at the layout can convey ideas people held about advertising, popular culture, and technology.  Additionally, a local newspaper allows you a microscopic view of how your own community, country, or even town felt about a given issue. Reading a back issue of The Irish Times, the oldest Irish paper in existence, will help you understand the unique perspective of those on the “The Emerald Isle”.

The History of the Irish Times

The Irish Times was established by Mark Lawrence Knock in 1859 and published its same issue later that same year. From the beginning, the paper was advertised as a “conservative daily paper” offering a uniquely Irish perspective. Ironically, however, it took six months of regular issues for the paper to earn its “daily” moniker; up until that point, it was only published thrice weekly. For 14 years, the paper remained relatively unchanged. However, after Knox's sudden death in 1973, the paper changed in both leadership and perspectives. The new owners, the Arnott family, remained major stockholders of the paper until the 1990s. Under their leadership, the paper shifted views from Protestant nationalist to unionist. After the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922, however, the paper resituated itself as a bias-free, independent publication.

Aside from going public in 1900, and fighting Irish Governmental censorship during World War II, The Irish Times relatively unchanged until 1974. At that point, to preserve its independence, the paper was placed into a trust regulated by the Memorandum and Articles of Association. The opened its first Asian bureau in 1996.

A drastic drop in revenue multiplied by the expense of purchasing a new printing plant saw The Irish Times end 2002 in the red. However, after a drastic restructuring, the paper returned to profitability late in 2003. In 2005, two years after its near bankruptcy, the paper launched a new international edition. In 2009,  the paper released the first version of its mobile application.

From its beginnings, and through some dark times, The Irish Times remains standing as the strong, independent voice of the Irish people.

Interesting Facts About the Irish Times


  • The Irish Times holds itself to the following principles: supporting constitutional democracies, promoting a friendly and improved society, encouraging peace and tolerance around the world, offering a view that increases empathy for other peoples and cultures, and to provide readers with the information needed to make informed judgments.

  • Out of the 10 Irish newspapers in circulation when The Irish Times began, it’s the only one still left in circulation.

  • The Irish Times was the first Irish paper to establish a website.


The Irish Times Archives

To find back issues of The Irish Times or to check availability of the newspaper, follow these steps:

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