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The Opening of the Metropolitan Railway – 10 January 1863

On 10 January 1863 the Metropolitan Railway was opened in London. An unprecedented feat of engineering, the Metropolitan Railway was the first underground railway in the world, forming the basis of the London underground and other global underground systems. In this special blog, we take a look at the historic first three days of the Metropolitan Railway’s existence, from its grand opening on Friday 10 January 1863, to the teething problems it encountered when it opened to the public on

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 66,564 new pages to The Archive, with two brand new titles joining us this week, as well as updates to seven of our existing titles. Our two new titles this week have a particularly Highland flavour. With this in mind, we are delighted to welcome the Huntly Express to our ever-growing collection of Scottish titles. The Huntly Express is a weekly newspaper covering local events, and initially started life as a Saturday publication. The town of Huntly was formerly known as Milton

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Ninette de Valois – Godmother of English and Irish Ballet

Prima ballerina, choreographer, teacher and business woman, Irish born Dame Ninette de Valois was instrumental in raising the global profile of British ballet, founding the company that would become the Royal Ballet, and nurturing the talent of some of the country’s most famous dancers, including Alicia Markova and Margot Fonteyn. In this special blog, we take a look at de Valois’ early years, her rise to prima ballerina, and her shift into production and choreography, using pages from the British

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 130,418 new pages to The Archive, including one brand new title the Strathearn Herald. A weekly newspaper published on Saturdays, we have so far added over 30,000 pages to this title and counting, with over 123 years of comprehensive coverage. Strathearn Herald | 11 April 1863 We have also updated six of our existing Scottish titles, with significant updates to the Arbroath Guide, a weekly local newspaper which began publication in 1843, as well as to the Perthshire Constitutional and

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A Look at the History of Dance Halls – Wedding Bells and Questionable Morals

By 1953 the dance hall was the second biggest entertainment industry after cinema, with an estimated 200 million visitors per year. It was thought that up to 70% of couples met on the dance floor. Today, the dance hall is consigned to history, but for many from the 1920s through to the 1970s it was a weekly fixture, representing an escape from the monotony of daily life. In this special blog we take a look at the colourful story of

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added an impressive 136,680 brand new pages to The Archive. We have added four brand new titles, and updated eight of our existing titles, with new pages spanning the length and breadth of the British Isles. Our new titles this week represent the north and the south of the country. We have two new Scottish titles, which are the Arbroath Guide and the Perthshire Constitutional and Journal. The Arbroath Guide was a local weekly paper, published on Saturdays, covering

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The Tango Craze of 1913 – ‘London Has Already Been Bitten Severely’

‘They name their dresses Tango, their hats Tango, their dogs Tango,’ so reports the Pall Mall Gazette in 1913 at the height of tango fever in London and in Paris. In this special blog, using articles and illustrations from The Archive, we explore the history of the tango, and how its popularity surged after its spread from along the Rio de la Plata in South America to the music halls, the stately homes and the dance floors of Europe. Origins

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 182,823 brand new pages to The Archive, meaning that we have now passed the 34 million mark! We are delighted with this achievement, and delighted to also welcome six brand new London titles to our collection, which span the first half of the nineteenth century, including the world’s first ever evening newspaper, the Star (London). Star (London) | 2 January 1830 Founded on 3 May 1788 by publisher John Murray, among others, the Star (London) was the world’s first ever evening newspaper. Published daily (bar Sunday), the

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Dance in the Second World War – An Extravagance of Determination and Hope

‘It is not proposed to make total war total misery,’ said the Home Secretary Herbert Morrison in 1942, as he announced in the House of Commons that dancing was not to be included in the ‘recreations that are to be restricted to prevent interference with the war effort.’ Indeed, for many, dance was synonymous with their experiences of life in the Second World War. American GIs brought over with them new and exciting dance styles, and dancing itself was a

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Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week

This week we have added 96,038 new pages to The Archive. We have two brand new titles – the Sun (London), not to be confused with today’s tabloid publication, and the Colored News, the first British newspaper to publish colour images. For the Sun (London), we have so far have available the years 1801 to 1868. Published daily, bar Sundays, the newspaper is a fascinating resource for the tumultuous days of the early nineteenth century, a time of great political

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