February 2014 – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Victor Hugo, a “man of genius”

Novelist Victor Hugo was born on 26 February 1802. In this review of Les Miserables, the Dublin Evening Mail stated that he was “almost the only French imaginative writer of the present century who is entitled to be considered as a man of genius.” Dublin Evening Mail – Friday 17 October 1862 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. View the whole newspaper page  

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Top tips for searching the newspapers

The British Newspaper Archive attended Who Do You Think You Are? Live at London Olympia this month, helping a number of people track down their ancestors in our newspapers. Don’t worry if you weren’t able to attend the family history show – we’ve asked our lovely team to share their top search tips here so that you can take advantage of them too.   1) Put “quote marks” around a name This will tell the website that you only want to

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Your newspaper discoveries: The case of the poisonous Bath buns

Michelle Higgs, author of A Visitor’s Guide to Victorian England, got in touch to share this shocking story she found in The British Newspaper Archive. What have you found in the newspapers? Let us know by emailing press@britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk ************** Victorian Britain was a hazardous place to live, and not just because there was a potential accident around every corner. The trading standards and food hygiene we take for granted today simply didn’t exist, so shoppers often risked illness or even

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Pluto discovered and nearly named Percival

Pluto was discovered on 18 February 1930, though the Nottingham Evening Post reported that the planet was very nearly given a different name. The article states that Atlas, Prometheus, Tempus, Marconi and even Percival were considered as potential names. Nottingham Evening Post – Thursday 10 April 1930 Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. View the whole newspaper page  

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Your newspaper discoveries: A mother loses her children in three separate coal mining disasters

Writer and historian Denise Bates sent us a message recently to explain what The British Newspaper Archive and the family history records available at findmypast have helped her discover about a nineteenth-century mining family. Denise wrote Pit Lasses: Women and Girls in Coalmining c1800-1914 after discovering her great-great-great-great-grandmother listed as a miner in the 1841 census and wondering what her life would have been like.   ************** Many people are surprised to learn that until 1842, women and girls worked underground in coal

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10 unusual vintage Valentine’s Day cards

The tradition of sending and receiving Valentine’s Day cards is well documented in The British Newspaper Archive, but not all were as sentimental as you might expect. We’ve found a number of references in our historical newspapers to the unusual Valentines that were exchanged. Here’s a selection of the best for you to enjoy.   1) I saw you kiss the office boy This little rhyme about an office romance was included in the Nottingham Evening Post in 1903:  

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125,000 extra pages now searchable

January was a busy month at The British Newspaper Archive – we added thousands of newspaper pages to the website and also moved our scanning equipment to Boston Spa, the new home of the British Library’s newspaper collection. We’ve updated 40 newspaper titles, including the Cheltenham Chronicle, the Hastings and St Leonards Observer and the Stamford Mercury. A full list of recent additions is provided below.   Search the newspapers     Newspapers added to The British Newspaper Archive in

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Facebook in the Edwardian era

Facebook is 10 years old today, but did you know there was actually also a ‘Face-book’ in 1902? We’ve found this reference in the Western Times, describing a book in which ‘everyone who comes to stay has to draw a face in… however badly, and sign his name underneath’.   View the whole newspaper page Western Times – Wednesday 30 April 1902 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  

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Help us improve The British Newspaper Archive

We’re planning some exciting changes in 2014 and would love to get a better understanding of what you want from The British Newspaper Archive.   Complete our survey and win a 12 month subscription Please spare us 10 minutes of your time to complete a short survey, telling us how you use the website and what you’d like to see more of.   Complete the survey   Not only will you be helping to shape the future of The British

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Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine special offer

The lovely people at Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine have sent us this special offer to share with you: *********************** Try five issues for just £5! Build your family tree and discover your ancestry with Britain’s best-selling family history publication. Packed with practical advice, from getting started in genealogy to expert tips, Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine shows you how to build your family tree using online resources, such as the census, as well as where

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