It's the British Newspaper Archive's birthday! | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


It’s our birthday!

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Read all about it, The British Newspaper Archive is 5 years old today!

We are delighted to be celebrating our 5th anniversary at The British Newspaper Archive.  We launched on 29 November 2011 with 4 million pages.  Today, we have four times that amount, and just this week, we have passed the 700 mark on the number of titles we hold.  Along with our British titles, we have also published over 125 newspaper titles from across Ireland.

According to our readers, out of the 701 titles we have digitised the top five are

  1. The Scotsman
  2. Morning Post
  3. Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer
  4. Dundee Courier
  5. Aberdeen Journal


This year, The British Newspaper Archive has doubled the amount of pages published every week, and in 2017, we will be focusing on obtaining newspapers for every county.  We work in partnership with the British Library, in addition to licensing newspapers from publishers, in order to create the most comprehensive collection.  Luke McKernan, lead curator of news and moving image at the British Library, had this to say about us:

‘The British Newspaper Archive has been a tremendous boon to the British Library. It has enabled millions of pages from our newspaper collections to be digitised and made available to readers anywhere. It has produced digital preservation copies, which we keep in our digital store, ensuring the survival of those newspapers for generations to come. It has also encouraged not just family history research but much important academic research into British lives, culture and society – there are so many researchers out there now who simply couldn’t work without the essential support of the BNA’.

Our readers love all of the stories held within the pages of the newspapers, from historical events such as coronations, declarations of war, and social movements to community news like the history of their local football club.  The newspapers allow you to check out events in world history — from America’s Independence to the Russian Revolution to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.

Illustrated London News 1 Dec 1989 Berlin Wall
Illustrated London News, Friday 1 December 1989


In the last month, we introduced our freshest feature, the newspaper title pages.

South Wales Daily News title page
South Wales Daily News title page


We are thrilled to have added both The London Illustrated News and The Stage to the site this year.  The London Illustrated News provides vibrant coverage of world news with features on arts, culture, and science.

Illustrated London News May 1995
The Illustrated London News, Monday 1 May 1995

In the theatrical newspaper, The Stage, you can delve into London’s theatre scene.  Here you can read a review of Judi Dench’s 1957 theatre debut as Ophelia in Hamlet at the Old Vic.  The young actress made an impression on the reviewer who wrote,

Judi Dench making her first important professional appearance, provides little of interest while she is a sane Ophelia: many another actress could do better.  But in the mad scenes she has a remarkable haunting quality; we are made to believe absolutely that she is moving in a realm outside ordinary human life.’

The Stage 26 September 1957 Judi Dench
The Stage, Thursday 26 September 1957

We would not have been able to make it this far without the support from you, our loyal readers and subscribers.  We want to hear from you to help us celebrate our birthday.  Tell us about your exciting newspaper finds or your favourite titles.


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