November 2012 – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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The BNA Passes the 6 Million Page Mark – and Page Number 6 Million Is Available for Free!

It was a long day and night watching the old odometer (drink in hand), but we’re thrilled to announce that the homepage counter on the website has just passed the 6 million page mark. And we’re thrilled to have reached another big milestone in the project. The 6th millionth page to arrive on the BNA website was page three of the ‘Manchester Evening News’. So to celebrate reaching this milestone, we’ve set this page as a FREE page to all

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C.S. Lewis – Born in Belfast on 29 November 1898

We love writers with two initials (a sure sign of literary excellence)! So we were delighted to learn that C.S. Lewis was born in Belfast on 29 November 1898. At the moment, the Archive does not yet contain stories about The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – as they were both published in 1950. But hidden away in a secret BNA wardrobe, we did find this very interesting talk that a young-ish C.S. Lewis

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Sir John Ambrose Fleming – Born in Lancaster on 29 November 1849

Another famous person born on the 29th of November was the physicist, inventor and electrical engineer, Sir John Ambrose Fleming. Born in Lancaster in 1849, Ambrose Fleming was famous for inventing the first thermionic valve (aka diode) in 1904. Hmm, ever curious, we looked up thermionic valve, and discovered that it is a gadget that controls the flow of electricity through a vacuum inside a sealed container. That’s the great thing about visiting the British Newspaper Archive – you learn something

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The Death of Giacomo Puccini – Brussels, 29 November 1924

The Italian composer, Giacomo Puccini, died in Brussels on 29 November 1924. When news of Puccini’s death reached Rome, a performance of ‘La boheme’ was stopped, as the orchestra abruptly shifted key to play Chopin’s ‘Funeral March’ to a shocked audience. So to commemorate his sublime music and his life, we’ve posted two stories that report on the life and music of Puccini. Hull Daily Mail – Monday 01 December 1924 Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of

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Online Newspaper Archive Celebrates Its First Birthday

– Later today, the British Newspaper Archive will reach the 6 million page mark on its first birthday The British Newspaper Archive celebrates its first birthday today, as it nears the 6 million page milestone. With a target of 40 million fully-searchable pages by 2021, this 10-year project is the biggest digitisation of newspapers to take place in the UK. The online archive holds stories of all human life, ranging from a heart-rending story of a child transported to Australia

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Photos of the BNA Scanning Team at Colindale Library – 29 November 2012

The BNA Scanning team at The library at Colindale (North London) are Stakhanovite in their efforts to scan the newspapers for the BNA website. In many respects, they are the unsung heroes and heroines of the BNA project. So as a sign of respect for their hard work and ingenuity when it comes to problem-solving, we’ve posted some photos of them, hard at work at the Colindale Library. The Colindale Scanning Team, November 2012 – the current team plus a

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‘Barbarous Massacre of Indians’ – Sand Creek, 29 November 1864

On 29 November 1864, between 70 to 165 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians (most of whom were women and children) were killed, when a 700-man force of the Colorado Militia attacked their village at Sand Creek. The attack on the Indians was led by Colonel John Milton Chivington, which is why Sand Creek is also known as ‘the Chivington Massacre’. As can be seen from this newspaper report of August 1865, the attack caused outrage and led to an official investigation

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Louisa May Alcott (aka ‘Jo’), Author of ‘Little Women’ – Born on 29 November 1832

Louisa May Alcott (aka A.M. Barnard), author of ‘Little Women’, was born in Germantown, Philadelphia, on 29 November 1832. Her famous novel, ‘Little Women’, was based on the family life of the Alcott family when they lived in Concord, Massachusetts, and the character of ‘Jo’ is the author herself. So we’ve posted two stories below which explain the many autobiographical elements contained within Alcott’s classic novel. Dundee Courier – Monday 21 January 1901 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS

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Thomas Edison and His Phonograph – New Jersey, 29 November 1877

 ‘A Wonderful Telephonic Invention – Preserving Speeches’ On 29 November 1877, Thomas Edison gave the world a demo of his phonograph invention – thereby paving the way for generations of teenagers to lock themselves away in their bedrooms and madden their parents by playing their records way too loud. To celebrate this wonderful achievement by ‘the Wizard of Menlo Park’, we’ve posted a newspaper story that reports on Edison’s wonderful new invention – and how it will magically preserve the

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The First Birthday of the British Newspaper Archive – 29 November 2012

It’s our first birthday today! For it was on this day last year that a gallimaufry of Victorian news girls and boys (see the photo and video below) officially launched the website at King’s Cross Station, London. To celebrate the day, we’re going to post some stories on the blog about famous events and birthdays that have taken place on the 29th of November. Oh, and we’re also celebrating the fact that the number of pages in the Archive is

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