Picture Post Historical Archive

Latest News

Picture Post Historical Archive was Highly Commended in the Besterman/McColvin Award in the ‘Outstanding works of electronic resources and e-books’ category at the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals’ (CILIP) ISG Reference Awards. Read more>>

Watch a brief overview of The Picture Post Historical Archive by Media History publisher, Seth Cayley>>

The Picture Post Historical Archive, 1938-1957 consists of the complete, fully searchable facsimile archive of the Picture Post, the iconic newspaper published in Britain from 1938-1957 that defined the style of photojournalism in the 20th century. As the latest addition to Gale's Historical Newspapers Collection , The Picture Post provides students and researchers with online access to a unique visual record of the 1930s to 1950s - from the humorous and light-hearted snapshots of daily life to the serious and history defining moments of domestic and international affairs.

Users can browse and search online more than 38,000 pages and 95,000 articles online, gaining remarkable insight into a crucial period of 20th century history - from the stormy years leading up to World War II  to the first decade of the Cold War. An invaluable resource for students, teachers and researchers of media, journalism, history and photography, The Picture Post is also a heritage collection providing excellent -and highly visual - primary source material for family and local history researchers. For users that already have access to other digitised newspapers in our collection, like The Illustrated London News Historical Archive and The Times Digital Archive, the collection provides additional - and highly visual - avenues and in-roads into research of the period.

“I think a digital archive of The Picture Post  is a fantastic idea. There is a lack of such digital resources to support teaching and research in the period since the First World War. I can see ways of integrating this digital archive into my undergraduate courses on 20th century Britain and on visual culture and as the basis for undergraduate dissertations on a range of different topics.”
Dr Matt Houlbrook, Lecturer in Modern British History, Magdalen College, University of Oxford

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About The Picture Post

The Picture Post’s liberal, anti-Fascist, populist editorial stance, coupled with candid 35mm photography by a stable of talented photographers, was a runaway success from its first issue. Circulation reached 1.7m within six months and readership was estimated at 80% of the British population during the war years.

Results List

Subjects covered:

The Picture Post’s innovative use of photo-journalism captured the imagination of the British people in this pre-television era. The magazine turned its lens on the major national and international social and political issues of the day, bringing into sharp focus:

  • WWII and the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany
  • Korean War including coverage of S.Korea's abuse of political prisoners
  • British Social History 1930s-1950s including issues around Race and Immigration
  • Post-war reconstruction in Britain including launching the social 'Plan for Britain' and influencing the creation of the NHS in 1945

Picture Post Historical Archive on Gale NewsVault

The Picture Post 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 Picture Post 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 Picture Post, 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.