June 2012 – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Lottie Dod – the Youngest Winner of the Ladies’ Singles at Wimbledon

Merseyside-born, Charlotte ‘Lottie’ Dod, is the youngest ever winner of the Wimbledon Ladies Singles Championship, achieving her triumph in 1887 at the tender age of 15 years and 285 days. She won the singles title five times in total, between the years 1887 and 1893. As she also played golf, hockey, curling and a number of other sports, her sporting life can be traced in the Archive. The newspaper story featured below reports on the match when she won the

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The British Newspaper Archive in Dundee – Saturday 30 June, the McManus Gallery

Just a wee reminder that the British Newspaper Archive will be attending the ‘History Day Out’ at the McManus Gallery in Dundee on Saturday 30 June. We’ll be there to give demos of the website and to help people with their ancestral searches. The event runs from 10am to 4pm, and admission is free. So if you’re in the area, it’d be great to see you! – www.bbc.co.uk/thingstodo/activity/history-day-out-at-the-mcmanus/occurrence/118766

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British Newspaper Archive Wins Scottish IT Project of the Year Award – June 2012

We’re really pleased (and quietly proud) to announce that the British Newspaper Archive won the 2012 Scottish IT Project of the Year prize at the annual Digital Technology Awards. As the 10-year project involves scores of people who work extremely hard on the Archive, it’s great to see that their efforts are being recognised. To read the full story about this award, click on the link below. – www.allmediascotland.com/media_releases/34297/digital-champion-brightsolid-wins-award-for-innovative-british-library-partnership

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Spencer Gore – Gentlemen’s Singles Champion at Wimbledon in 1877

With the Wimbledon men’s final taking place today, we thought we’d have a look in the Archive to see what stories we could find. Once again, we weren’t disappointed! We found this report of the first men’s singles final – or as the newspapers originally called it, the Gentlemen’s Singles Final. We much prefer it being described as the Gentlemen’s Singles Final’ – the Men’s Singles Final just does not have the same appeal to it. We note that the

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The British Newspaper Archive at the McManus Gallery in Dundee – Saturday 30 June 2012

As part of the BBC TV history series, ‘The Great British Story’, the McManus Gallery in Dundee is staging a ‘History Day Out’ event on Saturday 30 June. The British Newspaper Archive will be attending this event to give demos of the website and to help people with their ancestral searches. The event runs from 10am to 4pm, and admission is free. With quill pen making and loom weaving also part of the itinerary, it promises to be a grand day out

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The Non-Digital Method for Conserving Old Newspapers

We love this fascinating article about how to preserve old newspapers – using, of all things, water! But the conservator also used a special wax called ‘cyclododecane’, so as to preserve the ink before the water treatment is started. It really is a terrific article, which also sheds light on the history of reading in the early 19th Century, as well as the preservation process itself. – http://www.thecourier.co.uk/Community/Heritage-and-History/article/23407/it-might-look-a-bit-scary-first-edition-of-the-dundee-courier-cleaned-up-for-the-future.html We actually have digital copies of the ‘Dundee Courier’ dating from 1844,

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‘The Great Blondin’ Tightrope Walking Across Niagara Falls on 30 June 1859

We love the old days when acrobats and circus performers had prefixes like ‘The Great’ and ‘The Amazing’ in front of their surnames. Truly, it was a golden age (sic transit gloria mundi). One such artiste was the tightrope walker, Charles Blondin (his real name was Jean Francois Gravelet-Blondin), who was known as ‘the Great Blondin’. We were thinking about Blondin just the other day when reading newspaper stories about ‘aerialist’, Nik Wallenda, who tightrope-walked across Niagara last week. ‘The

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Attending the Olympic Games in 1908 AND 1948!

We’re enjoying reading news stories about people who attended the Olympic Games in 1948 – especially if they intend on going to the 2012 Games,too! It’s been fascinating to read about all the changes in the sporting world that that have taken place since the more Corinthinian-minded days of 1948. For instance, we didn’t know that the officials at the 1948 Games had to pay their own expenses. Just for the record, the Olympic uniform that Charles Arthur Potts of

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Stories of the Summer Solstice – the Traditions, Legends, Myths and Science of Midsummer’s Day

To celebrate the solstice and Midsummer’s Day and Night, we’ve posted two stories that muse on the traditions, legends, myths and science of this magical day. The newspaper archive contains 100s of fascinating stories about the summer solstice, from the 18th Century right up to the middle of the 20th Century. So why not go all druidy and celebrate ‘the Golden Dawn’ by reading reports of this ancient tradition in newspapers from a bygone age? Western Daily Press – Thursday

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New title available! The Staffordshire Advertiser

The Staffordshire Advertiser (1801-1839) is now available on the site! http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/search/results/1800-01-01/1849-12-31?frontpage=false&newspapertitle=staffordshire%20advertiser The Staffordshire Advertiser was established in Stafford in 1795 and became the main county newspaper for Staffordshire. Its proprietor was Joshua Drewry (c.1773-1841), a printer and bookseller in Stafford who also ran a circulating library. As the son of a printer in Lincoln and nephew of a printer and newspaper proprietor in Derby, Drewry clearly had printing in his blood. He was a supporter of playwright Richard Sheridan, Whig MP for

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