The British Newspaper Archive Blog – Amazing finds and news from over 300 years of historical newspapers

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Ninette de Valois – Godmother of English and Irish Ballet

Prima ballerina, choreographer, teacher and business woman, Irish born Dame Ninette de Valois was instrumental in raising the global profile of British ballet, founding the company that would become the Royal Ballet, and nurturing the talent of some of the country’s most famous dancers, including Alicia Markova and Margot Fonteyn. In this special blog, we take a look at de Valois’ early years, her rise to prima ballerina, and her shift into production and choreography, using pages from the British

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 130,418 new pages to The Archive, including one brand new title the Strathearn Herald. A weekly newspaper published on Saturdays, we have so far added over 30,000 pages to this title and counting, with over 123 years of comprehensive coverage. Strathearn Herald | 11 April 1863 We have also updated six of our existing Scottish titles, with significant updates to the Arbroath Guide, a weekly local newspaper which began publication in 1843, as well as to the Perthshire Constitutional and

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A Look at the History of Dance Halls – Wedding Bells and Questionable Morals

By 1953 the dance hall was the second biggest entertainment industry after cinema, with an estimated 200 million visitors per year. It was thought that up to 70% of couples met on the dance floor. Today, the dance hall is consigned to history, but for many from the 1920s through to the 1970s it was a weekly fixture, representing an escape from the monotony of daily life. In this special blog we take a look at the colourful story of

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added an impressive 136,680 brand new pages to The Archive. We have added four brand new titles, and updated eight of our existing titles, with new pages spanning the length and breadth of the British Isles. Our new titles this week represent the north and the south of the country. We have two new Scottish titles, which are the Arbroath Guide and the Perthshire Constitutional and Journal. The Arbroath Guide was a local weekly paper, published on Saturdays, covering

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The Tango Craze of 1913 – ‘London Has Already Been Bitten Severely’

‘They name their dresses Tango, their hats Tango, their dogs Tango,’ so reports the Pall Mall Gazette in 1913 at the height of tango fever in London and in Paris. In this special blog, using articles and illustrations from The Archive, we explore the history of the tango, and how its popularity surged after its spread from along the Rio de la Plata in South America to the music halls, the stately homes and the dance floors of Europe. Origins

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 182,823 brand new pages to The Archive, meaning that we have now passed the 34 million mark! We are delighted with this achievement, and delighted to also welcome six brand new London titles to our collection, which span the first half of the nineteenth century, including the world’s first ever evening newspaper, the Star (London). Star (London) | 2 January 1830 Founded on 3 May 1788 by publisher John Murray, among others, the Star (London) was the world’s first ever evening newspaper. Published daily (bar Sunday), the

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Dance in the Second World War – An Extravagance of Determination and Hope

‘It is not proposed to make total war total misery,’ said the Home Secretary Herbert Morrison in 1942, as he announced in the House of Commons that dancing was not to be included in the ‘recreations that are to be restricted to prevent interference with the war effort.’ Indeed, for many, dance was synonymous with their experiences of life in the Second World War. American GIs brought over with them new and exciting dance styles, and dancing itself was a

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 96,038 new pages to The Archive. We have two brand new titles – the Sun (London), not to be confused with today’s tabloid publication, and the Colored News, the first British newspaper to publish colour images. For the Sun (London), we have so far have available the years 1801 to 1868. Published daily, bar Sundays, the newspaper is a fascinating resource for the tumultuous days of the early nineteenth century, a time of great political

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Discovering Agricultural, Country and Rural Pursuits Titles on The Archive

Here on The Archive we have a special collection of country and rural pursuits titles, numbering over 400,000 pages and covering the years 1849 to 1970. These titles range from the specialist – for example the wonderful Fishing Gazette, which focuses, rather unsurprisingly, on fishing in all its forms – to the more general, such as the ‘Country Gentleman’s Newspaper’ Field, which reports on a range of different country pursuits such as farming, shooting and fishing. We have a strong

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 73,766 new pages to The Archive, with the addition of three brand new titles. We are delighted to have added Liverpool based publication the Northern Daily Times, with pages covering the mid-nineteenth century and one thousand issues added. Northern Daily Times | 7 October 1853 We also continue to augment our Scottish holdings, with new publications the North British Daily Mail and the East of Fife Record joining The Archive this week. The North British Daily Mail was launched in 1847 and in 1901 was incorporated into

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