This week our presses have been on overdrive as we have now passed a landmark of 38 million pages now available to search on the British Newspaper Archive. We have added 177,190 pages in total, with the bulk of these new additions stemming from Britain’s longest-running tabloid, the Daily Mirror, to which we have added over 110,000 new pages.
We are delighted to present six brand new titles this week as well, representing historic headlines from England, Ireland, Wales and India.
Did you know that the Daily Mirror has its origins as a women’s newspaper? Launched on 2 November 1903 by Alfred Harmsworth, it was intended to be a ‘mirror of feminine life,’ representing a newspaper for women, by women. Read on to find out more!
Now known for holding a centre-left position, and supporting Labour, the Daily Mirror was also originally aimed at a middle-class audience before a shift in the 1930s to a working-class one, in order to reach a wider audience. This pivot was successful, and in the 1960s it became one of the world’s best-selling newspapers, selling over 5 million copies a day.
And now on to our new titles for the week! We start off in Lancashire today, with the Fleetwood Chronicle. Based in the coastal town of Fleetwood, part of the Fylde coastal plain, the Fleetwood Chronicle was first published in 1843, making it the area’s earliest newspaper. This newspaper was published biweekly, appearing every Tuesday and Friday.
Our next new title also hails from Lancashire, namely the Middleton Albion. Representing the local news from the town of Middleton, in the Borough of Rochdale, which saw a large expansion during the 18th and 19th centuries thanks to it becoming a centre for textile manufacture, it was first published on 20 May 1857 by Thomas Mills. The Middleton Albion was a weekly title, appearing every Saturday.
And now to the south of England – to Eastbourne, to be precise. Another coastal town, Eastbourne is a popular seaside resort in East Sussex, and the Eastbourne Chronicle was first published there in 1856. A weekly tabloid newspaper, it belonged to the ‘brotherhood of penny papers,’ whilst also labelling itself a ‘Fashionable Visitors’ Record and Guide.’ Appearing every Saturday, the newspaper was quick to claim that it is the ‘only independent local paper,’ with the largest circulation in the area.
Our next new title is the Glamorgan Gazette. A weekly newspaper covering central Glamorgan, it first appeared in 1894. It was printed and published in Bridgend by John Evans of the Central Glamorgan Printing and Publishing Company, and continues to be published to this day.
We are delighted to add another title to our Irish collection of newspapers, with the Sligo Chronicle joining us this week. Running from 1850 to 1893, it first appeared on 17 April 1850. Published every Wednesday, it contained local and national news, including parliamentary summaries, and articles discussing the ‘present state and future of Ireland.’
Our final new title this week is the Indian Daily News. Published in what is now known as Kolkata, the capital of the state of West Bengal, it promised to be an ‘Overland Summary of the Indian Daily News.’ Covering news from across India, with articles including ‘Gambling in India,’ it looked at matters pertaining to religion, transport, law, and shipping. Containing local new as well, it also featured announcements of births, marriages and deaths.
We have also added new pages to London title the Marylebone Mercury.
The Birth of the Daily Mirror
The Daily Mirror first appeared on the 2 November 1903. In its first ever edition, publisher Alfred Harmsworth takes a moment to reflect on his new venture, making ‘no apologies or excuses for’ the new publication, which is to focus on women’s interests:
…it is unlike any other newspaper because it attempts what no other newspaper has ever attempted. It is no mere bulletin of fashion, but a reflection of women’s interests, women’s thought, women’s work.
Harmsworth goes on to explain his motivations behind this revolutionary move in journalism, which saw him employ women journalists for his women readers:
It may be asked, why, if this provision for feminine interests is so urgently needed as the immense demand for the ‘Daily Mirror’ indicates, has it never been supplied before? Partly because it was never necessary, and partly because it was never possible. It was unnecessary, because the freedom, the education, the aims of women have only recently become wide enough to demand serious provision on so large and organised a scale; it was impossible, because it is only now that that increased breadth in interests makes it possible for me to find the large staff of cultivated, able, and experienced women necessary for the conduct of suitable newspaper.
He moreover hopes that it will be ‘Feminine, but…not effeminate’ for the ‘Daily Mirror is designed for men as well as women,’ being ‘entertaining without being frivolous and serious without being dull.’
This first addition ran with a plethora of advertisements for its female audience (including petticoats and furs), whilst also covering national and international news, ‘social news of town and country,’ news of engagements, suggested books to read, as well as pages devoted to fashion and shopping.
Unfortunately, Harmsworth’s noble vision of a newspaper by women for women was not to last, and ended in some ignominy. It was not the financial success he had hoped for, so in 1904 he fired his female journalists and re-imagined the newspaper as a pictorial one with a wider focus, the front page taken over with pictures instead of advertisments, and being briefly renamed to the Daily Illustrated Mirror.
The differences between the editions from 15 January 1904 to that of 27 January 1904 are stark, as you can see below!
Search our whole run of the Daily Mirror, including our newly added pages from 1903 to 1933 here.
|Fleetwood Chronicle||1895-1896, 1899-1901, 1903-1905|
|Eastbourne Chronicle||1914, 1917-1925|
|Glamorgan Gazette||1895, 1898, 1900-1910|
|Indian Daily News||1875-1880|
|Sligo Chronicle||1850-1855, 1857-1879|
This week we have updated two 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.
|Daily Mirror||1903-1913, 1919-1920, 1922, 1924, 1926-1933|
|Marylebone Mercury||1877, 1879-1883, 1885, 1887-1896|