The collection

In terms of diversity and size, KBR’s collection of newspapers is by far the largest in Belgium. From seventeenth century newspapers to last week’s newspaper, you will find them in our collection.

How to search for a newspaper?

1. Online

2. In the reading room

  • For defunct newspapers: in the catalogues on cards
    • alphabetical
    • topographical
    • chronological
  • On microfilm (almost 600 Belgian newspaper titles): using the catalogue of microfilms “Mic Perm”

How to consult newspapers

1. Physical newspapers & microfilms

Newspapers that still appear today, are available in bound volumesabout 6 months after their publication.

Since newspapers are particularly fragile, you can onsly consult them on the tables provided for that purpose. The bound newspapers should be treated with the utmost care.

Newspapers, both physical and on microfilm, can be consulted in the general reading room. A seat must be reserved in advance.

You can reserve a maximum of 6 volumes (exceptions can be made upon request). We strongly advise you to reserve all your documents at least 2 working days in advance via the online catalogue.

You can also take digital photos (without flash) of the documents, for your own use only. Always take care not to touch the documents with your device and to never damage them. Copyright should always be respected.

2. Digitised newspapers & microfilms

Part of the newspaper collection has been digitised and can be accessed remotely via BelgicaPress. If you want to search the entire digital corpus, including newspapers still subject to copyright, you need to log in with your MyKBR account.

This is necessary for copyright reasons: you only have full access if the documents will be used as illustration for teaching or for scientific research. Read more on copyright and the digital collections.

3. Digital Reproductions

You can request digital reproductions of the original newspapers via the online catalogue.

Preservation of the collections

KBR has collected newspapers since the library’s founding in 1837. They are kept in two different departments, as a consequence of the rarity, age and nature of the newspapers, the evolution of library technology and the processing methods.

1. Contemporary Media Department

  • Approximately 2,500 different Belgian newspaper titles. These newspapers belong to the collection “J.B.” (Journaux belges or Belgian newspapers), which covers the period from the last years of the 18th century up to today. Since 1966 they are acquired through the mandatory Legal Deposit.
  • Around 500 different foreign newspapers, either as original copies or on microfilm. These newspapers are part of the series ‘J.E.’ (‘Journaux étrangères’ or ‘Foreign newspapers’).
  • Two collections with specimens of newspapers:
    • The Gaston Mertens Collection (Fonds Spécial XLVIII), which has more than 60,000 specimens from some 1,650 Belgian municipalities (dating from the mid-seventeenth century to 1948)
    • The Philippe Vandermaelen Collection, which contains 2,405 specimens of nineteenth century foreign newspapers (mostly from Europe and the United States).
  • Hundreds of weekly or monthly newspapers of social, trade union, mutualist, political, professional, student or artistic interest.

2. Rare Books Department

  • Old journals (seventeenth and eighteenth centuries)
  • Clandestine newspapers dating from both World Wars
  • Unusually exceptional publications (including Vlaemsch België, Deutsche Brüsseler Zeitung and Le Charivari belge)
Contact the Newspapers department