175,000 extra newspaper pages added | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


175,000 extra newspaper pages added

We’re pleased to report that The British Newspaper Archive added over 175,000 historic newspaper pages in December, so you’ll have plenty of new stories to explore in 2014!

Start searching the newspapers


The papers feature international, national and local news, including this delightful report about a marriage that took place in Burnley in 1916.

The bride is reported to have worn a pale blue dress, a traditional colour that actually pre-dates the trend for white gowns. The couple’s wedding gifts are described as being ‘numerous and useful’.
A 1916 wedding reported in the Burnley News
The Burnley News – Wednesday 12 January 1916
Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

View the whole newspaper page


A full list of recent additions is provided below.

Aberdeen Journal – 1892, 1893, 1896
Arbroath Herald and Advertiser for the Montrose Burghs – 1890
Ayr Advertiser, or, West Country Journal – 1879, 1891
Birmingham Gazette – 1877
Birmingham Journal – 1839, 1841, 1842, 1843, 1859
Bolton Evening News – 1869
Burnley Express – 1920, 1922, 1934, 1935
Burnley Gazette – 1896, 1912
Burnley News, The – 1914, 1916, 1919, 1920, 1923, 1925, 1926
Cambridge Chronicle and Journal – 1877
Cambridge Independent Press – 1877
Carlisle Patriot – 1887, 1895
Cheltenham Chronicle – 1887
Coventry Herald – 1863
Coventry Standard – 1879
Coventry Times – 1877
Daily Herald, The – 1917
Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald – 1940, 1941
Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette – 1887
Dublin Evening Mail – 1841
Dundee Advertiser – 1863
Dunfermline Saturday Press – 1888
Durham County Advertiser, The – 1831, 1854, 1856, 1860, 1861
Edinburgh Evening News – 1917
Evening Telegraph – 1881
Falkirk Herald – 1868
Fife Herald – 1880
Grantham Journal – 1937, 1940, 1941, 1957, 1958
Hastings and St Leonards Observer – 1921, 1924, 1953
Leamington Spa Courier – 1840, 1841, 1842, 1874
Leeds Intelligencer – 1834
Lichfield Mercury – 1889
Middlesex Chronicle – 1876, 1877
Norfolk Chronicle – 1883, 1887, 1893, 1921
North & South Shields Gazette and Northumberland and Durham Advertiser – 1858
Paisley Herald and Renfrewshire Advertiser – 1871, 1872, 1874, 1875, 1877
Portsmouth Evening News – 1938
Sligo Champion – 1948, 1951
Southern Reporter – 1890
Stamford Mercury – 1926
Surrey Comet, and General Advertiser, The – 1878
Sussex Agricultural Express, The – 1918
Swindon Advertiser and North Wilts Chronicle – 1874, 1875, 1877, 1880, 1882, 1885, 1889, 1891, 1926, 1931, 1935, 1936
Wells Journal – 1894, 1896
Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald – 1923
Worcester Journal – 1879, 1896, 1941
Yorkshire Evening Post – 1909, 1911, 1912, 1923, 1925, 1926, 1932, 1933, 1938, 1940, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1953
Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, The – 1879, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1940, 1941, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952
Y Goleuad – 1900


77 comments On 175,000 extra newspaper pages added

  • You may have added 175000 pages in December but that is no comfort to your customers whom went 4 months with hardly any pages added, with promises that there would be new contented added shorty. You then went on to promise from the beginning of November that the speed of adding pages would increase to 10000 a day well the average for December is 5833 pages a day and January so far is no quicker. So on average you still haven’t achieved the promised 8000 pages a day that you advised when I joined up. Please be honest and tell your customers when after all these months of poor service we will is the 10000 pages a day on every day and not just once in a while.

  • Can I put in a request for the “Tunbridge Wells Gazette” please? Is it even in your archive for future scanning?

  • The amount of pages is beginning to crawl again, just another fact, from the 4th November 2013 when you hit the 7 million page mark, only an average of 4022 pages a day have been uploaded

  • im looking for the front page of the daily mail dated between 14/11/1977 and 16/11/1977 which has the headline “The mercy Brigade” but the archive only goes as far as 1953

  • I’m pretty curious as to the dates the newspapers stop too. I can understand stopping at 1953 as it seems to be a round 60 years and that’s probably the copyright length, but why does my local (Kent & Sussex Courier) stop at 1939?. Any chance of taking requests on what to scan next? Perhaps a vote?

  • To return to Colin’s point, I too am disappointed with another go-slow:

    7,309,701 21st jan
    7,311,497 22nd jan
    7,311,645 23rd jan

    Yes, just 148 pages added in one day!

  • Timing on getting the Clydebank newspapers online?

  • after waiting patiently for over six months, I was elated to see that Coventry papers were being uploaded again! even a couple from the 1880s! About 150 new pages, then? it all stopped – nothing.

    what is the actual upload selection method? is there a method? where is the consistency?

  • The selection method is obscure in the extreme. 11 papers are listed on the site as having uploads in the past 30 days: 7 of them with one year only (Arbroath, Dublin, Luton, Sports Argus, Whitstable, Leicester, S Shields) and Derbys/Chesterfield has only 3 years. The Sussex Agricultural Times has 8 yrs uploaded. Why these titles and places and why in almost all cases so few years uploaded? Only Burnley (as promised) has some systematic coverage as far as I can see (excellent as far as I am concerned because I am interested in Lancs). Yorks was being well covered with the Leeds titles but has now dried up (shame!)
    Could we have the promised explanation of the selection criteria soon please?
    Also could you please say which specific material is uploaded each day – it is a chore to have to deduce this if like me you are looking out for particular titles/years.

  • After bragging about all those pages added in December, please can you tell us why output is crawling in January.

  • I agree that the upload of new pages is not as keeping up to the rate promised, whilst the coverage is ‘patchy’ – almost ‘quirky’ – some major areas (like south Hampshire / Dorset) not covered at all, whilst some quite small towns have multiple papers featured. It is particularly infuriating not to be able to do the research, as the Colindale library was closed before a comprehensive range (by time and place) of the material was made available on-line.

  • In an effort to assist with our research could you please add The Preston Herald to be copied. This will help us add more detail to our History Section. http://www.pgrfc.co.uk/history/

  • until all the pages from beginning to near enough the present day are published then the BNA is not for me.

  • The reason for the slow down must be to do with the move to Boston Spa.

    If they can digitise The Athletic News, The Sportsman and The Sporting Life from the 19th century it would make life for many sporting historians a lot easier.

  • Thank you for making this resource available, I have found it invaluable in doing my research into Victorian Photographers however I am not really sure why Bradford has such a poor showing. Only a few short years of one newspaper has been digitised and Bradford was one of the most important towns in England in Victorian Times. Please can we have more Bradford….

  • Could we have a summary at the beginning of each month stating what will be uploaded during that month? Also, are there any special uploads planned to commemorate the start of WWI?

  • Surely I’m not the only one who is grateful for what has already been digitized – I’ve found the service invaluable – I’ve discover a whole area of my family history which would have been lost to me but for this site.

  • Any chance of more Shields Gazettes on your website?

  • Well, I’m with M Dun. I’m impressed at the sheer volume of material that has been published. Some of the comments above are to do with frustration at particular absences at the moment but on such a huge project some phasing and prioritisation is inevitable, both in terms of titles and years digitised. I’m less impressed with the quality of automated transcription, which is very variable and contrasts poorly with, for example, the National Library of Australia’s newspaper archive. But on balance much valued by me (I access the archive through findmypast where it is a great resource).

  • Could you please include the ‘Kentish Times’ early 1900 to 1945.
    Many Thanks

  • Could we have the Kent & Sussex Courier for the missing gap, 1923-39 please? I know they exist as they are in the Tunbridge Wells library, but on microfiche so not searchable and inaccessible to non-locals. Hope this can be added to the list of requests.

  • any chance of the Croydon Advertiser?

  • Please scan some Wolverhampton papers! I’ll gladly subscribe when you do.

  • I feel sure that many are researching WW1 and their family history. Can you estimate when more of the Yorkshire Newspapers 1914 to 1918 will be available?

  • It would be interesting to know how it is decided which newspapers to digitise and in what order. Grimsby was once the biggest fishing port in the world and played a vital role in both world wars, yet does not seem to be important enough compared to, say, Chesterfield in Derbyshire, a small provincial town. I am not complaining (in fact, many of my ancestors come from Derbyshire) but who decides which newspapers are the most important, and what are the criteria for selection?

  • I agree with RogerLWhite regarding the variable quality of the automated transcriptions. I found some of the Derbyshire & Chesterfield Times 1940, 1941 almost illegible. Furthermore, how about a reduction for those of us who spend time correcting the transcriptions? I could wish also that having saved an article to “My Research”, the key search words are still highlighted, instead of getting the whole page and having to search on that to find the article for which it was saved when accessing again. Finally, why can the Australians provide free access to their archive when we have to pay for the BL one?

  • A plea for the Macclesfield Courier or other newspaper covering 19thC NE Cheshire ? For me, a very useful site – and I live in hope!

  • I’m with Mark in respect of the Sportsman, Athletic News and Sporting Life; so many people are researching sport it would greatly enhance the site if these can be available

  • The list of new additions explains why the particular area I am researching is getting good cover, but only from provincial sources. I really need London based research, is there any way I can request this? I am a newby to the site, so PLEASE HELP!

  • I would like to see better coverage of all areas of the UK. I am struggling with Lincolnshire at the moment. Of course I would like the papers to be more up to date. We know there was an article on a family member in the 1980s but we have lost the original piece and would like a copy. Oh well I will keep coming back and hopefully see more in this area. I am finding some interesting though and it is helping me to understand my research further.

  • I’d just to endorse what Mark and RayW said in messages above: it would be much appreciated by sports historians if Sportsman, Athletic News and Sporting Life could be given some sort of priority. Many thanks – Keep up the good work!

  • I”d second Hilary on the issue of Grimsby being absence despite it’s preeminence in the Victorian era as a port and yet have the Louth and North Lincolnshire Advertiser 🙂

  • Much of the criticism is carping. This is a wonderful website-the one I use most frequently, though the splendid free Welsh newspaper site from the National Library runs it close.
    Monmouthshire is under-represented. Can we have the Monmouthshire Beacon and more of the Western Mail, please

  • Have we already forgotten how much hard and expensive work it used to be to attempt research using newspapers? We should be more grateful that we live in the digital age and have these wonderful facilities for our studies. Well done everyone concerned…. you can please some of the people etc.etc.

  • Do you have the Brentwood Gazette in your archives? If so, please tell me if you have plans to put it on the website at some future date, and indicate when this may happen. Thank you very much. David Pentecost

  • Another vote for the Sportsman. Although published in London this newspaper covers sports up and down the country and is vital for sports historians (and there’s a lot of us out there).

  • So many newspapers in such a little time, but could we please have “Lloyds Sunday News” and the “South Wales Echo’
    Appreciate all your efforts for this great resource.

  • So many newspapers in such a little time, but could we please have “Lloyds Sunday News” and the “South Wales Echo’
    Appreciate all your efforts for this great resource.

  • I agree with comments as to idiosyncratic coverage. I would like to put in a plea for the Black Country (Wolverhampton, Dudley etc) – a hugely important region in the 19th century.

  • I wonder what determines which papers are to be added, as the geographic coverage seems so patchy.
    Shropshire has far fewer issues imaged (384) than any other English county in the area – less than a tenth of the next lowest! Staffordshire has 10,900; Cheshire 8,000; Worcestershire 6,800; Herefordshire 6,400; Warwickshire 4,000. The former Denbighshire has 5,900. (Devon has over 50,000.) The only adjacent area worse served is Merionethshire, which has none – and that county was largely served by the Shropshire papers anyway.
    I hope it is planned to rectify this imbalance soon. It is the
    principal Shrewsbury papers (Shrewsbury Chronicle, Eddowes Salopian Journal) which are important, as their geographic coverage was much wider than just the town of Shrewsbury.

  • I joined the site specifically to look at Wolverhampton papers, so I support the earlier requests. However, the lack of information as to what will be digitised and when is discouraging, as is the speed of the process.

  • I am so grateful for this ever-expanding resource. Hoping for more of the Maidstone Telegraph and Islington Gazette, to extend into the 1880s and 1890s.

  • A plea for the ‘Cornubian’ published in Redruth Cornwall roughly 1880 – 1910

  • Good to see that you are continuing to add to the list of on line publications. I would appreciate you including the Erith Observer and Erith Times particularly covering the period up to 1918.

  • I would agree with Peter and Chris above – Shropshire and Wolverhampton are no well supported. Add to that, Walsall, as usual never gets a mention despite the fact that the Walsall Observer pre WWII, was an excellent newspaper.

  • In addition perhaps a call for publications with a Sporting connection. Bell’s Life or Athletic News or Newspapers such as Birmingham’s Sports Argus or Wolverhampton’s Express and Star Sporting Pink or the Sheffield Green ‘Un. Just adding the voice to others above.

  • Can you let me know if you have any plans to add the Manchester Evening News and also the Manchester evening Chronicle for 1910 and 1911 please. This was a very important time in the life of my grandfather and would fill a huge void in my family history. Would you please e-mail me with any news if this is going to happen.
    Regards G. Birch.

  • I agree with RogerLWhite and MDun – I am truly grateful. I live across the big pond from the UK and cannot possibly access the archives in person. I’ve made many great finds on this site in Aberdeenshire and Cornwall newspapers that I’m thrilled to have. Looking forward to checking back from time to time to see what additional resources I’ll be able to access.

  • I cannot believe the amount of whinging that comes from some quarters, and the number of “Pick me! Me! Me!” self-centred contributors to this blog. Are these papers being scanned for our information by robots working 24 hours a day? One gets the impression that some believe this to be the case. We are addressing the invaluable work being done by other human beings, and probably on equipment that does need servicing from time to time. Please, just be thankful for the work, and fine results that they are producing. For some, obviously a very thankless task. A little patience and appreciation goes a very long way.

  • I haven’t looked at these comments before and was astonished when I started from the top to read so many exceedingly grumpy and self-centred remarks. The situation didn’t improve till quite a long way down, when some brave soul mentioned his gratitude to the archive. May I add my thanks too, please. People who work on this sort of project just don’t slow down on purpose, they are too dedicated and involved.

  • What about Shropshire and Radnorshire?

  • I would really like to see the Enfield Gazatte and Observer included. I will willing pay the full fee when it is. It’s a great site, keep up the good work!

  • I’m shocked by comments that only 7,000 or 8,000 etc etc pages were added in one day, and I second those comments of appreciation for this fabulous service. Good grief… we’re able to call up, with a couple of clicks of a button, vast amounts of information that otherwise would be lost or inaccessible. Clearly… first world problems!

  • Please can you add the” South Wales Evening Post” please

  • I made inquiries with BNA a while back as to whether it was technically possible to introduce a “recently added pages” search option. They said it was. I begged them “that I was on my knees as I write” and to please introduce this option. What if your researching a Mr Peter Thomas, you decide after a few weeks or months to do a fresh search, only to be completely flooded with 1,000’s of seen before results. Also, why do you have to actually view an article before you can tell that it’s one that you’ve already ascribed to your “bookmarked” collection? Surely, when doing a repeat word-search, it must be possible to show which items have previously been “bookmarked” without having to actually click on them. You could forgive some clunkiness in some old newspaper sites but brightsolid are supposed to be a cutting edge, C21st bunch of guys. Hmm.
    Last compaint: whacked out titles selection. Your never going to be able to satisfy everyone, so if you’re going to add a new title, then really go for it and do a comprehensive run.Who needs one year of this or six months of that?
    By the way, if any of you out there reading this have a BL reader’s card did you know that you can search/view C19th/early C20th African & S. American papers for free and from home! That was the only place I found an obituary for a person I was researching.

  • It is good to see pages continuing to appear, although I echo the comments about slowness. I appreciate that it is impossible to satisfy all the competing requests for newspapers, but by any standard my particular interest – the Plymouth/Devonport/Stonehouse conurbation – is woefully under-represented, considering what a significant centre and port it was historically. It has no proper coverage at all for the nineteenth century. Despite its name, the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette covers Plymouth only peripherally and the same is true of the Cornish newspapers. I have gone as far as I can with the information currently available, so I will now allow my subscription to lapse until such time as nineteenth-century copies of The Western Daily Mercury and/or the Western Morning News (or others for the area) appear online. But thank you for your work so far.

  • Any plans to upload The Scottish Referee or the Weekly News ?

  • For those people who use the BNA to enhance their family research. I’ve just found out that these records are also available on FindMyPast. If I hadn’t just renewed my subscription to the BNA I may have paid the extra money and subscribed to that instead.

  • I would be pleased if you could publish pages from The Glasgow Citizen from 1900 onward. This was one of Glasgow’s major newspapers.

  • Please contact Sybil Cavanagh at Linlithgow Public Library, West Lothian,
    EH49 7EX.

    Sybil is in charge of the county’s historical documents and I know that she would love to see you upload the “West Lothian Courier”.

    By the way, so would I.

  • Rather disapointed with the validity periods of your packages as I would only be checking on certain local area newspapers 1700 – 1800 period.
    it would suit me to purchase say 120 pages (6000 credits) but take as long as I needed as I only get around to this now and again. However I like this site and what it has achieved so far.

  • Bought a year’s subscription in Jan 2014 and so far I have been impressed with what I can discover on local history – much quicker than going to the Record Office and more convenient. Well done.

  • Maybe those of you that are please with the amount of content be added have not been subscribers to this site very long, at first we were promised up to 8000 new pages a day then from July 2013 virtually no new content added for 4 months. No real apology, no compensation just a promise that we will soon have 10000 pages a day uploaded. Will the BNA be bragging about the number of pages added in January I hope not. Just remember we are paying for a service.

  • I think that the disgruntled whingers who began this blog never had the privilege of researching in that wonderful building at Colindale, and therefore never saw the heart-breaking state of so many of the irreplaceable volumes holding their crumbling heaps of yellow paper together – if they had, they wouldn’t be urging haste above everything.

  • It would be great to see the Sportsman and Athletic News available on the BNA, particularly the 1914-18 issues …

  • Eppie is right – many of the papers at Colindale were getting frail – but at least the resource was accessible. At present we have neither ‘real papers’ or digital access for huge areas of the country. What ‘is’ available is useful – despite the quirky ocr extracts – but a more even coverage of the country would help – or even a ‘planned schedule’ of when particular publications and/or countries would be added, so that at least researchers could ‘plan round it’. If, and when, the ‘rate of added pages’ match the ‘promised rate of added pages’, then the site will be much more helpful to users.

  • I think the general consensus is that it would be lovely to have a schedule of planned newspapers that are going to be scanned. Is such a thing possible?

  • Any chance of something from Cumberland being added,apart from Carlisle,site isn’t much use to me otherwise.

  • Are there any plans to digitise national newspapers? I know that some, e.g. The Times, have their own payable indexes. However, there are many defunct once-national newspapers. I’m especially interested in the Daily Graphic from 1917

  • A key newspaper for the Highlands and the west coast of Scotland is sadly missing, apart from one year, namely The Oban Times. This is a notable source for the history of Argyll and the west coast of Scotland during the nineteenth century. Can you please rectify the situation for us researchers?

  • The British Newspaper Archive

    Thank you all very much for your kind words, feedback and the suggestions about how to make the website even better. We’re very keen to make improvements to The British Newspaper Archive, so your comments have all been passed on.

    We’ve also set up a survey to allow us to collate your feedback and gain a better understanding of what you want from the website. We’d be very grateful if you could spare us 10 minutes to complete it. Just click on this link to take the survey:

    Many of your questions centre on the digitisation of newspapers, so we’ve provided some clarity about these points below.

    Newspaper digitisation

    We’re currently optimising the digitisation process, making gradual improvements to the way newspapers are loaded onto the website. Our immediate focus is on the quality of the digitisation, followed by a focus on the quantity of newspapers being loaded.

    To improve the information we provide about what is being added to The British Newspaper Archive, we will be posting regular updates like this one. While we’re not able to tell you precisely what will be added at what time, we will also try to introduce some information about what our digitisation team is working on this year.

    Selecting newspaper titles

    Newspaper years are loaded as soon as they are ready for publication. As some newspapers require more attention than others, it can often mean that years are not added sequentially. For instance, 1935 may be ready to upload before 1934 or 1936 if those papers require any extra work.

    We will be reviewing the method for selecting newspapers for digitisation this year as we’re aware that it would be extremely useful for you to have an input into this. For the moment, you can submit your suggestions via our customer survey:

    Very best wishes and thanks again,
    The British Newspaper Archive team

  • I would like to support Roger White’s concern about quality of capture, with particular reference to the indexing. For this purpose, presumably, some sort of Optical Character Recognition software is used, which from my observation is pretty fallible at present. This has an important bearing on the indexing/searching facility. In principle this is very good, but it can only be as good as the OCR readings upon which it operates, and one has only to run one’s eye down a column of initial search results to see that the text is wildly adrift in many cases.

    If the surname being searched has been misread as frequently as the accompanying text seems to have been (would 25% be unfair?) then, even after complete digitisation, one’s searches cannot be expected to catch more than three quarters of the material that will in theory be available.

  • Can I suggest uploading Farley’s Bristol Journal, Farley’s Bristol Advertiser, The Bristolian and the Bristol Times and Mirror? I have subscribed to the archive for the past year and have found it invaluable in my research. However, as there are only two Bristol based titles available, I feel I’m only getting part of the picture.

  • Recent history also important. I have been waiting for Liverpool Echo and for Birkenhead News for three years as my research is in my Merseyside shipping family. Iwill resubscribe when they arrive.

  • I am hoping for the Lancashire Daily Post later the Lancashire Evening Post and the Preston Guardian. It would also be great to have the Dean Forest Mercury as I have a lot of ancestors in the Forest of Dean, which has been partly covered in the Gloucester newspapers.

  • Ditto regarding the comments on ‘sports’ papers … there are a lot of sports historians out there! The local studies department micro facility (Coventry Local Studies Dept) is little better than useless with very many newspapers completely unreadable, a waste of Lottery Grant money, and the sports paper edition of the local paper missing!!! So how about ‘Sprot and Play’, ‘The Recorder ‘ and the various ‘Pinks’, ‘Greens’ etc from around the country?

  • I would like to be able tot access archives for the London area and particularly Stratford, West Ham.q

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