British Library Newspapers

The most comprehensive range of regional and local newspapers in Britain between the mid eighteenth and mid twentieth centuries ever made available in a digital collection, the collections within the British Library Newspapers series provide a range of publications to reflect the social, political and cultural events of the times.

Taken directly from the extensive holdings of the British Library, the more than 160 publications illuminate diverse and distinct regional attitudes, cultures, and vernaculars, providing an alternative viewpoint to the London-centric national press over a period of more than 200 years.

British Library Newspapers enables users to search material previously only available in London-based reading rooms. Employing the latest imaging techniques, the collection offers its users highly illustrated materials that support research in History, Literature, Victorian Studies, Genealogy, Fine Arts, Finance/Economics, Political Science, and more. The availability of large-scale delivery of collection data and metadata through Gale’s text and data mining program enhances the opportunities for this programme in digital humanities and social sciences scholarship.

The British Library Newspapers collections feature London national newspapers, English regional papers, home country newspapers from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, and titles in specialist areas such as Victorian radicalism and Chartism.

The series is composed of five collections:

British Library Newspapers, Part I: 1800-1900

Ranging from early tabloids like the Illustrated Police News to radical papers like the Chartist Northern Star, the 47 publications in Part I span a vast range of national, regional, and local interests. Other notable papers of Part I include the Morning Chronicle, with famous contributors such as Henry Mayhew and John Stuart Mill; the Graphic, publishing both illustrations and news as well as illustrated fiction; and the Examiner, the radical reformist and leading intellectual journal.  

British Library Newspapers, Part II: 1800-1900

Part II further expands the range of English regional newspapers and the political views represented in the programme with 22 additional publications. Researchers can find the newspapers of a number of significant towns and regions included in this collection: Nottingham, Bradford, Leicester, Sheffield, and York, as well as North Wales. The addition of two major London newspapers, The Standard and the Morning Post, helps capture conservative opinion in the nineteenth century, balancing the progressive, more liberal views of the newspapers that appear in Part I.

British Library Newspapers, Part III: 1741-1950

35 newspapers; nearly 1.2 million pages
Part III adds even more regional and local depth to the series, encompassing powerful provincial news journals like the Leeds Intelligencer and Hull Daily Mail, local interest publications such as the Northampton Mercury, and specialist titles such as the Poor Law Unions’ Gazette. Other noteworthy titles in Part III include the Westmoreland Gazette, whose early editor, Thomas De Quincy (of Confessions of an English Opium Eater) was forced to resign due to his unreliability.

British Library Newspapers, Part IV: 1732-1950

From key early newspaper titles like the Stamford Mercury to what is possibly the oldest magazine in the world still in publication, the Scots Magazine, the 23 newspapers in Part IV offers key local and regional perspectives from towns as geographically diverse as Aberdeen, Bath, Chester, Derby, Stamford, Liverpool, and York. In addition, Part IV includes the 1901-1950 runs of papers such as the Aberdeen Journal and Dundee Courier whose earlier newspapers are available in Part I and Part II.

British Library Newspapers, Part V: 1746-1950

With a concentration of titles from the northern part of the United Kingdom, the 36 newspapers in Part V deepen Gale’s northern regional content, doubling coverage in Scotland, tripling coverage in the Midlands, and adding a significant number of Northern titles to the British Library Newspapers series. Part V includes newspapers from the Scottish localities of Fife, Elgin, Inverness, Paisley, and John O’Groats, as well as towns just below the border, such as Morpeth, Alnwick, and more. Researchers will also benefit from access to important titles such as the Coventry Herald, which features some of the earliest published writing of Mary Ann Evans (better known as George Eliot).

Related Resources from Gale include:

•    The Times Digital Archive
•    Daily Mail Historical Archive
•    The Telegraph Historical Archive
•    17th and 18th Century Burney Collection

This collection is cross-searchable with other Gale Primary Sources collections

Gale Primary Sources collections are cross-searchable, providing a seamless research experience that enables scholars to search across millions of pages of primary and secondary sources in the humanities, from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries.

Please note:
“Our databases and digital archives are only available for institutions to trial and purchase. They are not available at this stage for individual subscriptions. For individuals seeking specific content within one of our resources, Gale, part of Cengage Learning does not have the rights to provide this service. If you wish to obtain a specific article, issue or book, please contact your library and enquire about online access to our products. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”