BNA Newsletter 7 (29th February 2012) – Leap Day Stories from the British Newspaper Archive | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


BNA Newsletter 7 (29th February 2012) – Leap Day Stories from the British Newspaper Archive

Leap Day Stories
To celebrate Leap Day (or ‘intercalary day’ or ‘Job’s Birthday’, as it’s also known), we’ve been looking through the newspaper archive to read about some of customs that are/were traditionally observed on this day.

Perhaps the most famous Leap Day tradition is that of ‘The Ladies’ Privilege’. Similar to ‘Sadie Hawkins’ Day’, this is the special day on which women can try to finally put an end to his chronic commitment-phobia. But if the answer is ‘nay’ (how could he?!), then the moral law dictates that he must make amends by buying a silk gown and/or gloves for the injured party. You can learn all about the history of this ancient tradition in this humorous and informative article from the ‘Nottingham Evening Post’.

For those more interested in the financial quirkiness of the day, the same paper carries an interesting story about how the bonus day affects matters such as wages, season tickets and the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s income.

The archive contains 100s of interesting stories about Leap Day’s traditions, spanning over 200 years of British culture. So why not celebrate the Brigadoon-like qualities of this exotic day, by taking the great leap forward into the archive to see what you can find?

‘Who Do You Think You Are? Live’

As the newspaper archive website only launched in late 2011, this was our first time at ‘WDYTYA? Live’. We really enjoyed meeting all the people who visited the old-fashioned news-stand, and finding out your thoughts on the new site and hearing your stories.

We especially enjoyed the times when we were able to help people find stories that they had previously been unable to locate. Indeed, the very last demo we gave late on Sunday afternoon helped a gentleman to find stories about a sea-faring ancestor that he had spent years looking for. This ‘Eureka!’ moment (he very kindly bought us drinks!) made our weekend.

To see some more photos we took at ‘WDYTYA Live’, visit our Facebook page


The BNA at the SAFHS Conference 2012 – Dundee, Saturday 21 April 2012
The Annual Conference and Fair of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies (SAFHS) takes place in Dundee on Saturday 21 April – and the British Newspaper Archive will be attending this event.

As at ‘WDYTYA Live’, we’ll be there to hear your family history stories and to give demos of the website. We’ll also be giving out free copies of our famous newspaper hand-out.

The event takes place at the Bonar Hall in Dundee on 21 April 2012, and runs from 9.45am to 4.30pm. To find out more, visit the SAFHS website.

Story Galleries on Facebook
Since sending out the last newsletter, we’ve created the following story galleries on our Facebook page:

• Eric Liddell – the Olympic Champion Who Refused to Run on Sundays

• Luddites of the World, Unite!

All the best,
The British Newspaper Archive Team


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