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Information about South Australian newspapers

South Australian newspapers


This guide contains a full list of historical and contemporary South Australian newspapers available at the State Library of South Australia.  Of the more than 400 newspapers listed here, 75% are old titles which have ceased publication. The list includes some 90 newspapers currently in publication.

The tabs allow you to locate past and present newspapers listed by:

  • time period
  • place of publication/coverage
  • specialised subject coverage

For many titles a short descriptive history has been included to provide an insight into the newspaper's content.

Each title includes a link to the catalogue record, and the 'more' link provides a brief history - where one is available. More detailed histories for  200 titles also appear on the SA Memory site. The catalogue link provides access to digital versions of the newspaper where these are available. The Online Newspapers tab provides links to all known South Australian newspaper websites.

Availability of Newspapers

Almost all the newspapers are available within the Library (microfilm or hard copy) with a number also available digitally. Most of the digital titles are historic (pre-1955) due to copyright.

Newspapers on microfilm are available for immediate access and copying during the Library's opening hours. The number of newspapers on microfilm is continually increasing through the work of the Library's re-formatting staff.

Apart from recent issues of newspapers, titles which have not been digitised or microfilmed need to be requested from storage, and viewed in the Somerville Reading Room.

Digitised Newspapers

The digitising of the historic South Australian newspapers on the Trove website has been achieved by collaboration with the National Library. The City of Port Adelaide/Enfield has funded the digitising of early Port Adelaide newspapers - South Australia's only independent funding contribution to Trove.

The Trove website currently includes more than 79 South Australian newspapers (covering both city and country) for the period 1836 to 1999. (Post-1954 newspapers have been added to Trove only with the publisher's consent.)

Suggestions of new titles for Trove are welcome, bearing in mind that (at this time) the title must already be on microfilm, and the basic cost of adding titles to Trove is $2 per page due to National Library funding cuts further digitising is likely only to proceed through private sponsorship programs.


This guide includes an alphabetical title listing of all South Australian newspapers. In addition, there are chronological and geographical lists.

A number of subject lists under broad headings such as 'religious', 'political', 'sporting', 'humour/satire' etc, provide information for more specialised research.

The Online Newspapers tab links to a list of all known South Australian newspaper websites, by title.


For detailed essays describing the history of the South Australian press and journalists, see the SA Memory, SA Newspapers page.

Non South Australian Newspapers

This guide is for South Australian newspapers, however the Library also has extensive holdings of interstate and overseas newspapers in both microfilm and hard copy. The hard copy versions of these titles are located in off-site storage with retrieval only twice-weekly, so require researchers to plan ahead for access.

The Library also subscribes to several databases with both historic and current newspapers. Due to licensing agreements, some of these may only be accessed by personally visiting the Library, although some are available to our Home Access members.

Information about non-South Australian newspapers and Online newspapers may be found on the Library Guide - Newspapers in the State Library.


1836 First issue of the South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register published in London

1837 Second issue of the South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register published in Adelaide

1837 Margaret Stevenson the first woman to write for the South Australian press as 'A Colonist' in the Register July 1837

1839 First country newspaper, the Port Lincoln Herald (short-lived)

1841 First illustrated newspaper, the Adelaide Independent published with loose cartoon-style illustration supplements

1841 First lady's column ('Jane's letters') published in the South Australian Magazine December

1843 The Adelaide Observer founded for country readers

1844 Andrew Murray took over the South Australian and began printing the writings of his sister-in-law, Catherine Helen Spence

1844 The Register published as first daily for just eight weeks from December 1844 to February 1845

1845 The first religious newspaper, Australiana, published

1848 First non English newspaper in Australia, Die Deutsche Post, published in Adelaide

1849 First sporting newspaper published, the Mercury and South Australian Sporting Chronicle

1850 The Register published daily (six days per week) from this time until its closure in 1931

1850 First in-text illustrations printed in the Mercury and South Australian Sporting Chronicle

1850 First free newspaper, the Adelaide Commercial Advertiser

1853 First commercial newspaper company formed to found the short-lived Examiner, closed after a few weeks and company took over the Register

1855 Steam printing introduced at the Register

1858 Australia's first inter-city telegraph line completed, linking Adelaide with Melbourne

1858 The South Australian Advertiser founded

1860 First successful country newspaper, the Northern Star, published at Kapunda

1861 South Australia's oldest country newspaper still in operation, the Border Watch, founded at Mount Gambier by Janet Laurie with her two sons

1862 First evening newspaper, the Telegraph published

1864 'Housewife's Corner' in Kapunda Herald first women's column in a country newspaper

1865 Adelaide Punch first published - no copies have survived

1867 The South Australian Catholic community began publishing the Southern Cross newspaper

1867 First locally published fully illustrated newspaper, the Illustrated Adelaide Post founded

1867 Catherine Helen Spence's 4th novel (Hugh Lindsay's Guest) serialised in the Observer May to November

1868 The Observer published its first regular 'Ladies column' and the rival Chronicle published a similar column titled 'The House'

1870 War correspondent dispatched to the Franco-Prussian War (William Ramage Lawson) by the Register

1872 Overland Telegraph Line completed, linking Adelaide directly with London

1874 First known children's column appeared in the Farmers' Weekly Messenger (Kapunda) in May

1876 First published lady cartoonist, Margaret Little, illustrated the single-issue Ephemera

1876 First illustrations in a country newspaper published in the Farmers' Weekly Messenger

1878 Catherine Helen Spence became a paid contributor to the Register and the Observer newspapers

1885 First suburban newspaper, the Free Press at Norwood - no copies have survived

1887 'Half-tone' photographs printed in the Observer in March

1887 'Sun pictures' or outdoor photographs first published in an Adelaide newspaper, Pictorial Australian, in May/June issue

1890 Comic strip consisting of a crude two frames only and without speech bubbles, drawn by C. Wall for Pictorial Australian from August

1890 Local edition of the Truth first published

1893 The Pictorial Australian moved completely to photographs rather than lithograph illustrations

1894 The Weekly Herald founded to support the Labour movement

1895 The Observer and the Chronicle began producing occasional photographic supplements

1896 Winifred Scott, possibly our first full-time woman reporter, appointed to the Observer

1899 'A lady reporter' first acknowledged in the Register

1900 Mrs Edith Dickensen 'special correspondent' for the Advertiser during the South African ('Boer') War

1902 The Observer and the Chronicle both began publishing weekly photographic supplements

1905 The Register and the Advertiser first began publishing weather maps

1912 First issue of the Mail, later titled the Sunday Mail

1914 Australia's first Greek language newspaper, Okeanis, published in Adelaide by George Nikolaides

1916 The Australische Deutsche Zeitung closed due to anti-German feeling during the First World War

1921 Possum's Pages began in the Mail in July

1921 Rebecca McGregor (nee Toseland) printer at the Port Augusta Dispatch took over the West Coast Recorder early and very politically outspoken female country newspaper owner/editor

1923 First issue of the News

1925 Crosswords first published in Register on 18 April as 'The Puzzle'

1929 The Register and the Advertiser taken over by Keith Murdoch of the Melbourne Herald

1929 Ginger Meggs cartoon strip first appeared in the Register on 14 September

1931 The Register ceased

1942 The Advertiser began putting news (rather than advertisements) on the front page from February

1948 The News changed from broadsheet to tabloid size

1951 Messenger Press founded at Port Adelaide

1972 The Sunday Mail first printed on a Sunday (rather than Saturday night) on 5 November

1975 The Chronicle, a weekly rural newspaper, ceased

1976 The last Saturday issue of the News published on 28 August

1984 Adelaide Review founded

1992 The News ceased, Adelaide's last evening newspaper

1992 The Advertiser introduced colour printing for photographs

1997 The Advertiser changed from broadsheet to tabloid size

2004 The Independent Weekly founded

2008 Launch of Trove web-site, containing digitised historic Australian newspapers

2011 The Independent Weekly became an on-line version only, as Indaily

Major South Australian newspapers for the period 1836-1954 have been digitised and made fully searchable on the Trove website. This includes representative newspapers for country districts.

Due to copyright restrictions, newspapers post 1954 may only be added to Trove with the permission of the copyright owner.

The majority of the South Australian titles on Trove have been financed by the National Library.