British newspapers online update, October 2012

Another update to my list of early 20th century British newspapers online. There are a number of new titles available:

Dundee Courier
Gloucestershire Echo
Hereford Times
Herts Advertiser
Lincolnshire Echo
Surrey Mirror
Yorkshire Gazette

In addition, the coverage for another dozen titles has been increased, though in some cases only by a year. There's additional coverage of at least some of the First World War period for seven newspapers, and of the Second World War for five.

Because it was getting a big long I've reorganised the list slightly, with separate sections for English, Irish/Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh newspapers. Which highlights the fact that there are no Welsh newspapers in the list at all. (The BNA does have a very few for 1900; hopefully they will be extended in future.)

All of the updates are due to the BNA; none of the other major newspaper sources I'm aware of have added anything for this period in the last three months. If you know of any I've missed, please let me know in the comments. However, I did recently come across UNZ.org, which has a huge amount of early 20th century periodicals (as well as books and other things) scanned and available for free, without even any ads. ('A New, Vast and Slightly Right-Wing Archive of Magazines, Books and TV Shows' is a pretty accurate description.) It's nicely organised too; a search function would be nice but you can use Google for that. Unfortunately for my purposes, all of them are American or monthly or both -- well, okay, these are interesting and useful too, but they don't fit into my list. But UNZ.org does have several British literary journals from the early twentieth century: Cyril Connolly's Horizon, F. R. Leavis's Scrutiny, and The Bookman (though this was a Hodder and Staughton publication, it published general reviews and cultural commentary too). For example, here's George Orwell's 'Wells, Hitler and the World State' from the August 1941 Horizon, which I had to pester some poor interlibrary loan librarian to find for me when I was doing my PhD. So this is a good thing.

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3 thoughts on “British newspapers online update, October 2012

  1. I’m excited by this online archive – principally because it has the Daily Worker from 1933 to 1945. This means less time trawling through broadsheets at the NLA in Canberra. Yeehaw!

  2. Post author

    Eventually ukpressonline should have the Daily Worker/Morning Star from 1930 right up to now (or rather 4 weeks ago), so it will be even more useful. Though I have to say the interface is not ideal for serious searching, as opposed to hunting down articles you already know exist. For example you aren’t given any snippets of text to see the context in which your keyword is being used, you have to click through to every search result to check it out — which is made worse by the fact that you aren’t given the articles which match your keyword, but the whole page, so you have to hunt through everything on it to find your keyword (and if it’s used in an unusual context then it can take a while). At least the page PDFs do have a text layer, so you can download them and search them that way. This is not to put you off, the interface is better than most and anyway online newspaper archives are like pizza — even when it’s bad it’s good, certainly when compared to sitting in front of a microfilm reader for weeks on end…

  3. That is one of the best analogies I’ve heard in a while!

    The Daily Worker/Morning Star is not on microfilm before 1978 at the NLA, so it’s marginally better flciking through pages of the broadsheet, but very difficult to copy. So I’m glad that it will be searchable online in the future, and thus downloadable/printable.

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