The nineteenth century was a period of revolutionary change and expansion. Britain was one of the world’s first industrial superpowers and developed a press to feed the demands of its increasingly literate and leisured population.

19th Century UK Periodicals is a major new multi-part series which covers the events, lives, values and themes that shaped the 19th century world. It provides an invaluable fully-searchable facsimile resource for the study of British life in the 19th century - from art to business, and from children to politics. Few of the materials in this extensive online collection have ever been reissued, in any format since original publication. All the original colour work has been specially captured for this programme.

The complete collection will offer more than 600 periodical titles to be published in five series totalling 6 million pages altogether.  Titles included have been newly identified and selected by leading scholars in 19th century studies: their choices reflect the broad scope and thrust of research and teaching in the 21st century.

Part I: New Readerships: Women’s, Children’s, Humour and Leisure/Sport

This collection marks the advent of commercial lifestyle publishing in Britain and charts the rapid rise of modern magazine culture. Among the key themes are;
  • The political spectrum of women’s writing, from Hearth and Home to the Women’s Penny Paper, offering important evidence of women’s changing status in the 1800s
  • Satirical and comic titles, such as Fun, Punch and Figaro in London, offer insight into what made people laugh during these times. The rapid increase of publications devoted to children’s entertainment and education is illustrated with Boy’s Own Paper and Good Words for the Young
  • This first series also charts the explosion in popular sports and hobbies, from gardening and horse racing to cricket, cycling and golf

Part II: Empire: Travel and Anthropology, Economics, Missionary & Colonial

Part 2: Empire turns its attention to the role Britain played beyond its own borders as an imperial power throughout the nineteenth century. Complete runs of 91 periodicals chart a century in which Britain extended its influence, reaching new heights of empire building. Sourced from the British Library, the National Library of Scotland and the National Library of Australia, the collection contains periodicals from Australia, Canada, Ceylon, India, New Zealand and South Africa.  


With over 1 million fully text searchable pages, users can search for articles on the abolition of the slave trade within the British Empire in 1807, read about reports of the first Opium Wars (1839-42), measure the response to Queen Victoria's assumption of the title of Empress of India in 1876 and follow European powers' 'scramble for Africa' in the 1880s and 1890s.   The range of titles was selected by a team of more than 20 editors, headed by Professor Joanne Shattock at the University of Leicester. All the editors are specialists in the field of nineteenth century studies and the majority work in major academic institutions in the UK, including University College London, Cambridge University and Royal Holloway.   The editors chose periodicals to reflect the full range of  colonial and post colonial research interests - travel, literature, anthropology, social reform, philanthropy, politics, economics and science. This is a truly interdisciplinary archive with journalism covering every aspect of life in the Empire making it an invaluable resource for 19th Century literature and culture, religion, empire, feminism, science, technology and medicine.  
  • Access to the Waterloo Directory of English Newspapers and Periodicals detailing periodicals' prices, publishers, editors, printers, circulation, size and more
  • Full colour images of periodicals originally published in colour including paintings, maps, original illustrations, cartoons and drawings
  • Chronology
  • Bibliography specific to Empire
  • Essays by well respected scholars including Máire ní Fhlathúin from the University of Nottingham and Robert Burroughs from Nottingham Trent University

19th Century UK Periodicals on Gale NewsVault

19th Century UK Periodicals is a part of the Gale NewsVault programme. Gale NewsVault delivers the definitive cross-searching experience for exploring Gale’s range of historical newspaper collections. Users can simultaneously search or browse across some of the best-known and well-respected newspaper collections available internationally to date, including The Economist Historical Archive and the Financial Times Historical Archive. Providing access to 15 million digitised facsimile pages, and more that 400 years of content, Gale NewsVault provides an unparalleled window to the past.

Gale NewsVault
is available to all Gale historical newspaper collection customers now, free of charge, enabling users to cross-search all of the Gale historical newspaper collections that an institution holds.

Click here for more details     

Part I: UK Institutions and JISC Collections

Purchase of the first in the series of New Readerships: Women’s, Children’s, Humour and Leisure/Sport by JISC Collections brings material from this period to the widest possible audience in the UK. Institutions will not have to invest in the content themselves but can gain access to 19th Century UK Periodicals through an annual hosting fee, available through the publisher Gale, to access the resource through its online interface. Please visit the JISC website for further information 

Please note: This digital archive is only available for institutions to trial and purchase. It is not available at this stage for individual subscriptions. For individuals seeking a copy of an issue/issues or a specific article within the archive, Gale, part of Cengage Learning does not have the rights to provide this service. If you wish to obtain a specific article or issue, please contact your public library (if you are a library member) or academic, school or special library (if you are a member of staff or a student) and enquire about online access to our products. Otherwise, it may be worth visiting a library that holds the physical copies.