Abigail Rieley – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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The Spirit of Christmas Fake

The Vice Chancellor’s court in Westminster must have been chilly indeed on Thursday January 11th 1844. We don’t know if the court room was busy or if crowds had gathered to get a peek at one of England’s literary darlings. They might well have. When A Christmas Carol was published on December 19th the previous year, it had been to near universal acclaim. The first edition had sold out by Christmas Eve. But for author Charles Dickens, there was no

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The Easter Rising: As documented in the British newspapers, 1916

Next month sees the marking of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising. Irish nationalists headed a campaign to end British rule in Ireland during a time when the outcome of World War 1 was uncertain. We take a look at how the events of 1916 were documented in the British press at the time. Search the newspapers News of the Rising started to filter through to the British newspapers on Tuesday April 25th 1916. A smattering of local papers managed to

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Just a traditional Christmas

Tradition is inescapable at this time of year. Whether you are retreading the paths of your childhood on a visit home with nostalgia and memory driving your actions or you are building new traditions with your children while they are young, Christmas is a time of familiarity. These days what we think of as a traditional Christmas is steeped in Victorian imagery. We’ve been looking through the newspapers to see how people celebrated the season of good will in days

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When the wind blows

As Britain and Ireland count the cost of Storm Desmond and with further storms on the way we’ve been taking a look at horrible winter weather over the years. The carols might talk of how the “north wind doth blow” but British weather can be an altogether wetter experience. Winter storms often take their toll in the darkest months of the year and newspaper have always covered them in some way, shape or form. In 1729, weather news was in

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Now we are 4…

There have been celebrations a-plenty in Newspaper Towers this weekend. We’ve been cracking open the bubbley (far away from any delicate newspapers of course) to toast the journey to get here. When we launched on November 29th 2011 we had 4 million pages. Now we have more than 12,370,000 across 545 individual titles. That first day we had 1.2 million searches from the public and today we’re so proud of you, our users, who’ve found family, researched books, told stories.

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Author Interview: Richard Tomlinson

In the first of a new occasional series we’re talking to author Richard Tomlinson, whose latest book Amazing Grace: The Man who was W.G, was partly researched using the Archive. We talked about his research techniques and how digital searches can uncover extraordinary detail about famous lives. In Amazing Grace, Tomlinson has painted a picture of a sporting celebrity and a complex man with fresh insights into some of the contradictions that made up the cricketing hero. He told us

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A Nudge from the Pulpit to Get the Festive Cooking On

This Sunday is known in some parts of England as Stir-up Sunday. It’s an old Anglican nickname for the last Sunday before Advent and it’s not actually about baking, or cooking of any kind. The day has been known that way at least since the 19th century although probably a lot longer as the name comes from a reading, or Collect, found in The Book of Common Prayer first published in 1549. The designated text for that particular Sunday, “Stir up,

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Voices of Dissent

This week we’ve added two campaigning publications to the collection – the Anti Slavery Advocate and the Nation. The former was concerned with sharing the arguments of the American abolitionist movement while the later fought for Irish independence. From a modern viewpoint it is easy to assume that both papers were niche publications, aimed at a very narrow market and not commercially viable – historic oddities in other words. While this may be somewhat true of the Anti-Slavery Advocate started,

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An Armistice Remembered

In the days leading up to the Armistice the sense of expectation in the British press built to a fever pitch. They had of course been following each twist and turn of the political negotiations but as an end to the war became a certainty the excitement built. Suddenly there were practical arrangements to be made, questions to be answered. Local papers sought to find a balance between the momentous historical events that were unfolding and the concerns of a

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A story for Remembrance Day

We’re always delighted to hear about people’s newspaper discoveries, especially when they solve a mystery. Well this week the Uckfield News reported a great story we’d like to share. In a great show of community pride, the people of Uckfield banded together to secure the medals of Private Albert Corden when they appeared for sale online. Since the medals came home they’ve been researching more about Pte Corden but until very recently didn’t have a picture of him. They recently

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