A Trio of New Scottish Titles | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 88,734 brand new pages to The Archive. We are delighted to welcome a trio of new Scottish titles, as well as updates to eight of our existing titles.

We bring you new publications this week from three corners of Scotland. First up, we have added the Kilmarnock Herald and North Ayrshire Gazette, a weekly local newspaper published every Friday in the historic burgh of Kilmarnock. Kilmarnock has many claims to fame; it was where Robert Burns’ first book of poems was published, it was home to the school that educated Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, and was where international whisky brand Johnnie Walker originated.

Kilmarnock Herald and North Ayrshire Gazette | 16 February 1906

We have also added the North Briton to our Archive this week. Published in Edinburgh every Wednesday and Saturday, this title is not to be confused with eighteenth century title The North Briton, which was a voraciously anti-Scottish publication associated with radical politician John Wilkes. Rounding off this week’s Scottish trio is the Northern Chronicle and General Advertiser, published in Inverness every Wednesday.

We have also updated eight of our existing titlesspanning England, Wales and Scotland. We have extensive updates to the historic Western Mail, which was founded by the Marquess of Bute in 1869 as a penny Conservative paper. Published in Cardiff, it soon became Wales’ foremost newspaper, and continues to be published today. Elsewhere, we have updates to the Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette, the Lichfield Mercury and the Wells Journal. Finally, we have further updates to our Scottish titles, covering Coatbridge, Blairgowrie and Renfrewshire.

Sir Alexander Fleming, born in 1881 in Ayrshire, was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his discovery of penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic substance. Although Fleming made his discovery in 1928, it wasn’t until the early 1940s that his part in the discovery became generally known, as reported in the Kilmarnock Herald and North Ayrshire Gazette, 4 September 1942, the newspaper that was printed in the town where he was educated:

A little has been heard of late of a new anti-bacterial drug to which the name ‘penicillin’ has been given, but it was only recently it became known that the credit for the discovery belongs to Professor Alexander Fleming, of the research laboratory at the inoculation department of St Mary’s Hospital, London. 

Sir Alexander Fleming – ‘Benefactor of Mankind’ | Illustrated London News | 9 May 1959

The newspaper details how Professor Fleming is a Scotsman, having been born ‘at Lochfield, Darvel, and educated at Kilmarnock Academy before proceeding to St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London, where he took almost all the class prizes and scholarships open to him.’

Illustrated London News | 4 March 1944

The article also explains how ‘Professor Fleming not only discovered penicillin, but also made the first suggestion that the substance he had succeeded in producing might prove to have important applications in medicine.’ Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1944 and knighted in the same year, Fleming maintained strong links to the area in which he grew up. He was part of the London Ayrshire Society, ‘one of the strongest and most powerful Scottish Societies in London,’ and he ‘presented the prizes at Darvel School Speech Day’ in 1952.

Growing penicillin | Illustrated London News | 4 March 1944 

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New Titles
Years Added
Kilmarnock Herald and North Ayrshire Gazette 1906-1911, 1913, 1915-1916, 1918, 1920-1922, 1924-1926, 1928-1952
North Briton 1855, 1857-1861, 1863-1864, 1866-1874, 1876
Northern Chronicle and General Advertiser for the North of Scotland 1881-1905, 1907-1912
Updated Titles

This week we have updated eight of our existing titles.

You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.

Years Added
Western Mail 1902-1907, 1909
Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette 1962-1968, 1982-1984
Kensington Post 1977
Lichfield Mercury 1980, 1983-1984
Renfrewshire Independent 1879-1886, 1888-1892
Blairgowrie Advertiser 1886
Coatbridge Leader 1957
Wells Journal 1967-1969, 1980

You can keep up to date with all the latest additions by visiting the recently added page.  You can even look ahead to see what we’re going to add tomorrow.


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