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Watch the latest presentation by publisher Seth Cayley on the ILN's mission to inform and educate the world>>

Winner of the ‘Outstanding works of electronic resources and e-books’ category at the CILIP ISG Reference Awards. Read more>>

The world in pictures

With its debut in 1842, The Illustrated London News became the world’s first fully illustrated weekly newspaper, marking a revolution in journalism and news reporting. The publication presented a vivid picture of British and world events – including news of war, disaster, ceremonies, the arts and science – with coverage in the first issue ranging from the Great Fire of Hamburg to Queen Victoria’s fancy dress ball at Buckingham Palace.

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"Just as the ILN was in many respects a first – the world’s first regularly illustrated weekly, the first periodical to employ special war correspondents and illustrators, the first to publish colour supplements – so this archive is the first to make this groundbreaking newspaper a globally searchable (‘easy ... digital format’; ‘convenient 24/7 access’) and hence meaningfully contextualized resource."

Read more in Peter Sinnema's review in Reviews in History, Dec 2, 2010

Full-text searching

The Illustrated London News Historical Archive gives students and researchers unprecedented online access to the entire run of the ILN from its first publication on 14 May 1842 to its last in 2003. Each page has been digitally reproduced in full colour and every article and caption is full-text searchable with hit-term highlighting and links to corresponding illustrations. Facsimilies of articles and illustrations can be viewed, printed and saved either individually or in the context of the page in which they appear. Wherever possible Special Numbers covering special events such as coronations or royal funerals have been included.

• Spans more than 160 years (1842–2003)
• More than 7,000 issues
• Approximately 260,000 full-text searchable pages
• More than 1.5 million high-quality color facsimile images

The Illustrated London News Historical Archive on Gale NewsVault

The Illustrated London News Historical Archive  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.

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Please note: 
The ILN Historical Archive is only available for institutions to trial and purchase. The archive is not available at this stage for individual subscriptions. For individuals seeking a copy of an issue/issues or a specific article within the Illustrated London News, 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 and enquire about online access to our products. Otherwise, it may be worth visiting a library that holds the physical copies. If you wish to order and download images for commercial purposes please visit the Mary Evans Picture Library.