Storytelling workshop at the British Library

Posted on March 20th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

Attend the storytelling workshop at the British Library

 

Bring newspapers to life with social media

Join the British Library on Monday 31 March for History Relived, a fascinating storytelling event that will explore how it’s possible to bring historical stories to life.

Tickets are just £5 and will give you:

- Access to The British Newspaper Archive for the day
- Guidance from Crossover Labs about using social media to uncover the past
- Inspiration for your next storytelling projects
 

How to book tickets

Visit the British Library’s website to find out more and buy a ticket

 

Win a history book

Posted on March 19th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

We’re giving away these three fantastic books on our Facebook page this week:

Enter The British Newspaper Archive's competition to win one of these books

 

How to enter

Comment on our Facebook post to let us know which title you’d like to win before 23:59 (GMT) on Monday 24 March 2014. We’ll contact our three lucky winners the following day.

 

What you could win

- Denise Bates, Breach of Promise to Marry: A History of How Jilted Brides Settled Scores
-
Michelle HiggsA Visitor’s Guide to Victorian England
-
Gill HoffsThe Sinking of RMS Tayleur: The Lost Story of the Victorian Titanic

Enter the competition

 

30 mph speed limit introduced

Posted on March 18th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

The 30 mph speed limit was introduced in built-up areas of Britain on 18 March 1935.

Not everybody appreciated the new signs – newspapers reported that eight signs were fished out of a pond a week later!

Nottingham Evening Post reports that speed limit signs were found in a pond

View the whole newspaper page

Nottingham Evening Post – Friday 29 March 1935
Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

St Patrick’s Day shamrock sellers

Posted on March 17th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

We just love these wonderful photographs of shamrock sellers in Plymouth in the 1930s, printed in the Western Morning News:

1930s Shamrock sellers in Plymouth

Top photo

View the whole newspaper page

Western Morning News – Thursday 18 March 1937
Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Bottom photo

View the whole newspaper page

Western Morning News – Saturday 18 March 1939
Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Behind the scenes: the newspaper scanning team

Posted on March 13th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

Welcome to the first of a new series of blog posts from our newspaper scanning team. This month, our digitisation officer Andrew tells us about what his team does.

 

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Andrew from The British Newspaper Archive

The digitisation team have been scanning newspapers at Boston Spa for almost two months. This series of blog posts will give you a ‘behind the scenes’ look at our work, how we capture images using state-of-the-art paper and microfilm scanners and how those images get onto The British Newspaper Archive.

 

Digitising newspapers from World War One

As 2014 is the centenary of the start of World War One, we are currently digitising a lot of newspapers from 1914-1918.

These provide a glimpse of what life was really like for those who lived – and died – during this defining period of our history. While news items tell us about the stark reality of war, some adverts can provide a degree of humour when viewed with 21st-century eyes.

We handle rare and often one-of-a-kind material and have received archive handling training from specialists at the British Library. A lot of the content we scan has been labelled ‘poor’ or ‘unfit for use’, so without digitisation it would no longer be available for public viewing.

 

The Newspaper Storage Building

The digitisation studio is in close proximity to the British Library’s new purpose-built Newspaper Storage Building at Boston Spa. The building is temperature and climate controlled to ‘safeguard the long-term future of the collection, which includes 750 million pages of local, regional and national newspapers’.

The British Library site at Boston Spa originally opened as the Thorp Arch Royal Ordnance Factory in 1941 and many of the buildings, including the one we work in, were built as part of the original munitions factory.

 

Thorp Arch in The British Newspaper Archive

Searching the newspapers for Thorp Arch reveals some fascinating insights about working life in a munitions factory. The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer actually reported on the closure of the Boston Spa site in 1945, as shown below.

 

Thorp Arch munitions factory closure reported in the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer

The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer – Friday 15 June 1945

Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

View the whole newspaper page 

 

Suffragette slashes the Rokeby Venus

Posted on March 10th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

Mary Richardson, a Suffragette, slashed the Rokeby Venus painting at the National Gallery 100 years ago today.

Read the stirring speech she gave at her trial, explaining her actions:

Suffragette Mary Richardson explains why she damaged the Rokeby Venus

View the whole newspaper page

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Friday 13 March 1914
Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

 

Death of the real Sherlock Holmes

Posted on March 10th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

A 19th-century police officer named Jerome Caminada died 100 years ago today. Angela Buckley, author of The Real Sherlock Holmes: The Hidden Story of Jerome Caminada, explains what newspapers can tell us about the detective’s incredible life.

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On 10 March 1914, just five days before his 70th birthday, Detective Jerome Caminada died at home. Born in the slums of Manchester, he had enjoyed an extraordinary career, earning him a place in history as one of the city’s finest police officers and a real-life Sherlock Holmes.

Local and national newspapers printed obituaries celebrating his success. The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser summed up his unique achievements:

Jerome Caminada's death reported in the Manchester Courier

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Wednesday 11 March 1914
Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

View the whole newspaper page

 

A deadly confrontation

The article described some of ‘Mr Caminada’s most exciting adventures’, including his deadly confrontation with violent thief Bob Horridge, who had terrorised the city for two decades. Horridge’s criminal career reached a dramatic climax when he shot two police constables during a burglary.

Detective Caminada was instructed to run him to ground and he tracked his archenemy to Liverpool, where he faced him in one final struggle. Knowing that Horridge would be armed, the detective held a revolver to his head and with the chilling words, ‘If there’s any nonsense you’ll get the contents of this’, he finally brought him in.

Another episode recounted in the press was Caminada’s arrest of fugitive MP, William O’Brien, who had escaped from a police court in Ireland. When O’Brien turned up in Manchester to give a speech against the prime minister, Detective Caminada was ready and waiting. Amid violent clashes with hundreds of fervent supporters, Caminada apprehended O’Brien and escorted him back to Ireland.

 

The Manchester Cab Mystery

Detective Caminada’s signature case was widely reported. Known as ‘The Manchester Cab Mystery’, the story bears all the hallmarks of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

The Manchester Cab Mystery

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Wednesday 11 March 1914
Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

View the whole newspaper page

 

Intelligence work for the British government

Admiration for Detective Caminada’s work was also expressed in the Manchester Evening News:

‘As a skilled detective officer Mr Caminada enjoyed a world-wide reputation and had a remarkable career… He was a man of unbounded courage and resource, and was never debarred by fear of personal injury from getting to the root of any affair he was investigating, and bringing the offenders to justice.’

In addition to the cases already mentioned, the obituary made reference to a famous betting raid masterminded by Caminada, which resulted in the closure of 22 illegal gambling clubs. It also recalled the time, during the 1880s, when Detective Caminada was involved in secret intelligence-gathering missions for the British government, to counteract potential acts of terrorism by the Fenians. He trailed ‘suspicious characters’ through Ireland, France, Germany and America, even shadowing one of the alleged perpetrators of the Phoenix Park murders.

 

A fitting tribute

The Manchester Evening News concludes Jerome Caminada’s obituary with a fitting tribute for the great detective:

Jerome Caminada’s obituary in the Manchester Evening News

Manchester Evening News – Wednesday 11 March 1914
Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

View the whole newspaper page

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Buy a copy of Angela’s new book, The Real Sherlock Holmes: The Hidden Story of Jerome Caminada, from Pen and Sword Books

 

7.5 million newspaper pages now online

Posted on March 6th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

The British Newspaper Archive added over 200,000 pages in February, bringing the current grand total to over 7.5 million. There’s still plenty more to be scanned, so we’ve already started chasing the next milestone – 8 million pages!

 

Search the newspapers

 

50 titles have been updated this month, including the Durham County Advertiser, the Wiltshire Independent and the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. A full list of recent additions is provided below.

 

The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer

 

Newspapers added to The British Newspaper Archive in February

Aberdeen Journal – 1878, 1882, 1883
Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette – 1769, 1870, 1889, 1925
Belfast Morning News – 1858
Birmingham Daily Mail, The – 1837, 1884, 1900
Birmingham Daily Post – 1888
Birmingham Gazette – 1880
Burnley Express – 1908, 1911, 1934, 1935
Burnley Gazette – 1889
Burnley News, The – 1924, 1932
Cheltenham Chronicle – 1873, 1885, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892
Cheltenham Looker-On – 1843
Coventry Herald – 1885, 1916
Coventry Standard – 1856
Daily Herald, The – 1914
Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald – 1911
Dover Express – 1892, 1894, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1900
Dublin Evening Mail – 1824, 1826
Dumfries and Galloway Standard – 1875, 1892
Dundee, Perth, and Cupar Advertiser – 1859
Durham County Advertiser, The – 1817, 1818, 1820, 1821, 1824, 1827, 1828, 1829, 1834, 1835, 1836, 1837, 1842, 1843, 1845, 1846, 1848
Edinburgh Evening News – 1905, 1906, 1911, 1932
Evening Telegraph – 1885, 1887, 1891, 1896, 1904
Falkirk Herald – 1869
Fife Herald – 1875, 1876, 1877
Gloucester Citizen – 1931, 1937
Gloucester Journal – 1794, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802
Lancaster Gazette – 1861
Leamington Spa Courier – 1838, 1839
Liverpool Daily Post – 1906
Maidstone Telegraph – 1861
Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – 1898
Newcastle Journal – 1875, 1884, 1885
North & South Shields Gazette and Northumberland and Durham Advertiser – 1872, 1873
Nottingham Evening Post – 1910, 1939
Reading Mercury – 1873
Sheffield Evening Telegraph – 1898
Southern Reporter – 1887, 1888, 1889, 1891
Sports Argus, The – 1914
Staffordshire Sentinel – 1897
Stamford Mercury – 1911
Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette – 1908, 1909
Sussex Agricultural Express, The – 1898, 1899, 1902, 1914, 1954
Swindon Advertiser and North Wilts Chronicle – 1864, 1865, 1866, 1867
Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser – 1840
Wells Journal – 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1895
Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald – 1916, 1917, 1918
Wiltshire Independent – 1841, 1843, 1844, 1846, 1847, 1848, 1849, 1857, 1859, 1860, 1861
Yorkshire Evening Post – 1910, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1954
Yorkshire Gazette – 1859
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, The – 1866, 1871, 1883, 1887, 1890, 1891, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1901, 1902, 1905, 1907, 1908, 1913, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1938, 1939

World Book Day: How it could have looked in 1920

Posted on March 6th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

British schoolchildren will dress as their favourite book characters today to celebrate World Book Day.

The Cheltenham Looker-On proves that this isn’t a new phenomenon – here we see two doctors dressed as Tweedledum and Tweedledee in 1920:

Tweedledum and Tweedledee in 1920

Cheltenham Looker-On – Saturday 17 January 1920
Image © Local World Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

View the whole newspaper page

 

 

Pancake thrown at American President and First Lady

Posted on March 4th, 2014 by The British Newspaper Archive

Keep an eye out for low-flying pancakes today!

The Pall Mall Gazette reported that a pancake was thrown at US President Grover Cleveland and his wife during a visit to St Louis in 1887.

Pancake thrown at US First Lady in 1887

View the whole newspaper page

Pall Mall Gazette – Tuesday 25 October 1887
Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.