New e-resources: Historical Newspaper Archives, including British Library Newspapers, & Digital Scholar Lab

Digital Archives of Historical Newspapers of critical importance to the humanities and social sciences.

British Library Newspapers : All 5 parts now available : Cambridge University now has online access to the complete British Library Newspapers, adding Part III: 1740-1950, Part IV: 1732-1950, and Part V: 1746-1950, comprising regional newspapers from across the UK offering new insights from alternative sources of history voiced from outside the national newspapers.

Major newspaper archives available for 2021: Key archives, including the Financial Times archive and the Punch archive, are available online for 2021 only. (Continuation of access of these archives will be reviewed at the end of 2021.)

New insights to be uncovered from text-mining newspaper archives : Users may now browse millions of news pages or search keywords, themes, or term frequencies and term clusters on each archive’s platform. To take research on the archives to a new level, identifying previously undiscovered data, testing theories, analysing results, and gaining new insights, Cambridge now makes available Gale’s Digital Scholar Lab for text mining across all or a selection of the archives.

The digital archives are listed here or can be accessed via the links below. Discover the newspaper archives available on the British and Overseas & Foreign Language Newspapers pages or on the Newspapers LibGuide.

Cambridge University Libraries makes available from 2021 the following newspaper archives from Gale Cengage. These new digital archives have been made available through special funding provided by the University to support teaching and learning impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the unavailability of library resources on campus.

British Library Newspapers

All 5 parts of the British Library Newspapers are now available, comprising collections from the British Library which span 300 years of newspaper publishing in the U.K. The rise of newspapers in Britain was a phenomenon which characterized a new age. The newspaper was increasingly a medium for information required by the commercially minded societies of major cities and regional centres. Taken as a whole, the huge production of newspapers in Britain provides an enormous resource for research on all subjects for all of the U.K., both urban and rural. Cultural trends, political currents and social problems are reflected in the newspapers and give new freshness and immediacy to the historic events.


Daily Mail archive

Described by the New Yorker as “the newspaper that rules Britain,” the Daily Mail has been at the heart of British journalism since 1896, regularly changing the course of government policy and setting the national debate. It currently boasts a circulation of over 2 million, and its website is the most visited news site in the world.

As well as the regular edition of the newspaper, the Daily Mail Historical Archive also includes the Daily Mail Atlantic Edition, which was published on board the cruise ships that sailed between New York and Southampton from 1923 to 1931. Copies were printed and sold to passengers on every day of the five-day voyages, with news transmitted from London and New York to the middle of the Atlantic by wireless radio transmission. These editions published different content to the regular London version of the paper and contained articles specifically commissioned for the journey, with a heavy emphasis on American content.

More than 100 years of this major UK national newspaper can be viewed in full digital facsimile form, with copious advertisements, news stories, and images that capture twentieth-century culture and society. The archive is currently available to 31 December 2021 when we will review whether access can be extended.


Telegraph archive

The Telegraph was once the world’s largest-selling newspaper. Researchers and students can full-text search across 1 million pages of the newspaper’s backfile from its first issue to the end of 2000, including issues of the Sunday Telegraph from 1961.

Launched in 1855, The Telegraph is generally seen by press historians as the start of a new era of journalism that emerged following the repeal of stamp duty and signaling the first step towards the mass-market journalism of the Daily Mail.

Directed at a wealthy, well-educated readership, the newspaper is commonly associated with traditional Toryism despite its more liberal beginnings, especially in regard to foreign policy. Under the editorship of poet and Orientalist Edwin Arnold from 1873 to 1899, the paper frequently featured articles on foreign affairs and foreign cultures. This led to The Telegraph‘s coverage of Henry Morton Stanley’s expedition to Africa in search of David Livingstone, which was co-sponsored with the New York Herald.

In 1908, the Daily Telegraph published an infamous interview with Kaiser Wilhelm, the German chancellor who alienated the British public with such uncensored comments as “you English are mad, mad, mad as march hares.” During World War II, the cryptic crossword puzzle used to recruit Allied codebreakers was published in the Telegraph.

The Telegraph also included many notable contributors, such as George Augustus Sala. One of the most famous journalists of the nineteenth century, Sala pioneered a more lively, personal style of writing and reported from all over the world. He is also celebrated for his coverage of the US Civil War. In addition, Sir Winston Churchill’s first journalistic attempts were contained within the pages of The Telegraph, written when he was a twenty-two-year-old army officer. The archive is currently available to 31 December 2021 when we will review whether access can be extended.

American Historical Periodicals from the American Antiquarian Society

American Historical Periodicals from the American Antiquarian Society contains over 195 titles, starting in the Colonial era, moving through the Civil War and Reconstruction, and into the twentieth century. One of the biggest strengths of this collection is the diversity of content. While the major issues are covered, the periodicals included go beyond politics, economics and general history. Alongside titles dedicated to arts and literature, there is coverage ranging from entertainment to agriculture, building a comprehensive and expansive record of the era. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


Financial Times Archive

1886-2016. Every article, advertisement, and market listing is included — shown both individually and in the context of the full page and issue of the day. Each item has been subject- or topic-categorized for fast retrieval and review.

The paper began as a City of London news sheet and grew to become one of the best-known and most-respected newspapers in the world. Along the way, the Financial Times — printed on its distinctive salmon-colored paper — has chronicled the critical financial and economic events that shaped the world, from the late nineteenth and entire twentieth centuries to today. This historical archive is a comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased research tool for everyone studying the economic and business history and current affairs of the last approximately 120 years.

Initially focused on the global financial and economic issues that were to become the predominant forces of the twentieth century, the Financial Times expanded coverage in the postwar years, reporting on topics such as industry, energy, and international politics. In more recent decades, coverage of management, personal finance, and the arts have been added. Today, with more full-time foreign correspondents than any other European newspaper, a wider readership internationally than in the UK, worldwide circulation of nearly 500,000, and estimated global readership of more than 1.9 million people, the Financial Times is recognized as the complete newspaper for the world of business throughout the world [Source: FT Average Daily Global Audience (ADGA), May 2010]. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


International Herald Tribune Archive

Sold in over 160 countries and read worldwide, the International Herald Tribune is one of the most innovative and original newspapers, famous for its objective and clear coverage. Bringing an international perspective, it provides a valuable counterpoint to the Anglo-American press, adding a new dimension to research.

An online, fully searchable facsimile, the International Herald Tribune Historical Archive, 1887–2013 delivers the full run of this internationally-focused daily paper, from its first issue through to 2013. Articles, advertisements, and market listings are included—shown both individually and in the context of the full page and issue of the day. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


Mirror Archive

The Daily Mirror Historical Archive extends the ‘mass market’ content available in Gale Historical Newspapers. The Daily Mirror (working-class) and the Daily Mail (middle class) challenged the broadsheet dominance of newspapers such as The Times and The Telegraph, providing both an alternative view and journalistic style which went on to dominate the British newspaper market in the second half of the twentieth century.

“The Mirror is a sensationalist newspaper. We make no apology for that. We believe in the sensational presentation of news and views, especially important news and views, as a necessary and valuable public service in these days of mass readership and democratic responsibility […] Sensationalism does not mean distorting the truth. It means the vivid and dramatic presentation of events so as to give them a forceful impact on the mind of the reader”. (Sylvester Bolam, editor of the Daily Mirror, 1949.)

Started by Alfred Harmsworth (later Lord Northcliffe) in 1903, The Daily Mirror was influential in changing the course of British newspapers in the second half of the twentieth century, becoming Britain’s bestselling daily newspaper by 1949. Consistently left-leaning and populist to reflect the views of its target working-class audience, it offers a counterpoint to the more conservative newspapers that dominated the late nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, such as The Times and The Telegraph. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


Nichols Newspapers Collection

John Nichols (1745–1826) was a printer and former Master of the Stationers’ Company, biographer of Hogarth and Swift, and writer of a county history of Leicestershire. He began collecting newspapers around 1778 through purchasing a large share in the Gentleman’s Magazine, who had provided Samuel Johnson with his first regular employment as a writer. Not only did he collect many more materials after this, he also made them available to scholars, a tradition continued by the Bodleian Library, and now Gale. The collection contains over 150,000 pages of printed text, spanning nearly 100 years of history.

Through a partnership with the Bodleian Library, Gale has digitally scanned each page of this collection, and with Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Nichols Newspapers Collection brings these rare documents to scholars around the world in an easy-to-use, full-text searchable digital format. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


Picture Post Archive

The Picture Post Historical Archive, 1938–1957 comprises the complete archive of the Picture Post from its first issue in 1938 to its last in 1957 – all digitized from originals in full colour. Picture Post’s innovative use of photojournalism captured the imagination of the British people. In the era before television, it became the window on the world for ordinary people, bringing the major social and political issues of the day into popular consciousness. Above all, Picture Post provides a fascinating snapshot of British life from the 1930s to the 1950s, with thousands of photos of ordinary people doing ordinary things — from boys rolling a tyre, to a view of a postwar bedsit, to young women on a rollercoaster — all caught in a single moment in time.

Users can browse and search more than 38,000 pages and 95,000 articles online, gaining remarkable insight into a crucial period of twentieth-century history — from the stormy years leading up to World War II to the first decade of the Cold War. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


Punch Archive

From 1841 to 1992, Punch was the world’s most celebrated magazine of wit and satire. From its early years as a campaigner for social justice to its transformation into national icon, Punch played a central role in the formation of British identity — and how the rest of the world saw the British nation. With approximately 7,900 issues (200,000 pages) from all volumes of Punch between 1841-1992, including Almanacks and other special numbers (issues), as well as prefaces, epilogues, indexes, and other specially produced material from the bound volumes, and the images in the archive appear as originally published, the Punch Historical Archive, 1841–1992 enhances teaching, learning, and research This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


Sunday Times Archive

The twentieth-century run of this newspaper is powerful in its hard-hitting and investigative journalism, with in-depth information and widely researched, long-term news stories. It is an important resource for all humanities and social sciences courses, especially in history, media studies/journalism, literature, cultural studies, politics, and performing arts. The Sunday Times Historical Archive 1822-2016 brings two centuries of news together in one resource, providing the complete run of the newspaper and its supplements, in one cross-searchable and browseable platform.

Despite the similarity of names, the Sunday Times was an entirely separate paper from The Times until 1966, when both papers came under common ownership. To this day, the Sunday Times remains editorially independent from the Times, with its own remit and perspective on the news.

The Sunday Times is famous for many of its stories, including Kim Philby’s outing as a Soviet spy, the thalidomide investigation, and the publishing of Adolph Hitler’s diaries. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


The Independent Archive

The Independent is a major British daily national newspaper, launched in 1986 as an antidote to its often overtly political rivals. Its evolution over a quarter of a century has been considerable, but the publication has also retained a unique position in British journalism. Featuring journalists and columnists from across the political spectrum, the paper is generally regarded as centrist, presenting fresh, alternative views on the free market, social issues, and culture.

Over the last thirty years, the Independent has taken strong campaigning positions on issues such as drug legislation, the war on terror, and the environment. It received the Newspaper of the Year award in 1987 by What the Papers Say Awards, a BBC radio and television program. It received the award during its first full year of publication, and by the end of 1988, its circulation had risen to more than 400,000. This success led to the launch of The Independent on Sunday in January 1990. In the 1990s, The Independent scored a series of scoops when it published three separate interviews by its Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk with a then little-known Osama bin Laden. In British politics, it has been a strong advocate of electoral reform, arguing that the UK’s first-past-the-post system and unelected House of Lords are not suited to a modern democracy. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.


The Listener Archive

The Listener was a weekly magazine established by the BBC in 1929 under its director-general, Lord Reith. It was the intellectual counterpart to the BBC listings magazine, Radio Times. Developed as the medium for reproducing broadcast talks — initially on radio, but in later years television as well — the Listener is one of the few records and means of accessing the content of many early broadcasts. In addition to commentary expanding on the intellectual broadcasts of the week, the Listener also previewed major literary and musical shows and regularly reviewed new books. Over its sixty-two-year history, the Listener attracted the contributions of literary icons such as E. M. Forster, George Orwell, Bertrand Russell, George Bernard Shaw, and Virginia Woolf. It also provided an important platform for new writers and poets, with W. H. Auden, Sylvia Plath, and Philip Larkin being notable examples.

Articles were diverse, with features on the death of King George V; a series of essays accompanying Sir Kenneth Clark’s landmark art history show Civilization; interviews with authors such as Vladimir Nabokov; and the historian Geoffrey Elton writing on the decline of British universities in the 1960s. What united them was the BBC’s cultural mission (as created by Reith) of educating the masses. This archive is available up to 31 December 2021.

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