The British Newspaper Archive Blog – Page 33 – Amazing finds and news from over 300 years of historical newspapers

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When the wind blows

As Britain and Ireland count the cost of Storm Desmond and with further storms on the way we’ve been taking a look at horrible winter weather over the years. The carols might talk of how the “north wind doth blow” but British weather can be an altogether wetter experience. Winter storms often take their toll in the darkest months of the year and newspaper have always covered them in some way, shape or form. In 1729, weather news was in

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Now we are 4…

There have been celebrations a-plenty in Newspaper Towers this weekend. We’ve been cracking open the bubbley (far away from any delicate newspapers of course) to toast the journey to get here. When we launched on November 29th 2011 we had 4 million pages. Now we have more than 12,370,000 across 545 individual titles. That first day we had 1.2 million searches from the public and today we’re so proud of you, our users, who’ve found family, researched books, told stories.

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Author Interview: Richard Tomlinson

In the first of a new occasional series we’re talking to author Richard Tomlinson, whose latest book Amazing Grace: The Man who was W.G, was partly researched using the Archive. We talked about his research techniques and how digital searches can uncover extraordinary detail about famous lives. In Amazing Grace, Tomlinson has painted a picture of a sporting celebrity and a complex man with fresh insights into some of the contradictions that made up the cricketing hero. He told us

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A Nudge from the Pulpit to Get the Festive Cooking On

This Sunday is known in some parts of England as Stir-up Sunday. It’s an old Anglican nickname for the last Sunday before Advent and it’s not actually about baking, or cooking of any kind. The day has been known that way at least since the 19th century although probably a lot longer as the name comes from a reading, or Collect, found in The Book of Common Prayer first published in 1549. The designated text for that particular Sunday, “Stir up,

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Voices of Dissent

This week we’ve added two campaigning publications to the collection – the Anti Slavery Advocate and the Nation. The former was concerned with sharing the arguments of the American abolitionist movement while the later fought for Irish independence. From a modern viewpoint it is easy to assume that both papers were niche publications, aimed at a very narrow market and not commercially viable – historic oddities in other words. While this may be somewhat true of the Anti-Slavery Advocate started,

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An Armistice Remembered

In the days leading up to the Armistice the sense of expectation in the British press built to a fever pitch. They had of course been following each twist and turn of the political negotiations but as an end to the war became a certainty the excitement built. Suddenly there were practical arrangements to be made, questions to be answered. Local papers sought to find a balance between the momentous historical events that were unfolding and the concerns of a

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A story for Remembrance Day

We’re always delighted to hear about people’s newspaper discoveries, especially when they solve a mystery. Well this week the Uckfield News reported a great story we’d like to share. In a great show of community pride, the people of Uckfield banded together to secure the medals of Private Albert Corden when they appeared for sale online. Since the medals came home they’ve been researching more about Pte Corden but until very recently didn’t have a picture of him. They recently

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Things that go Bump in the Night

At this time of year you naturally start thinking about all things spooky and here at the British Newspaper Archive we’re no different. We’ve been combing the newspapers in our collection for stories that will send a shiver down your spine and we think we’ve found three great ones. The first takes us right back to 1723 where the Newcastle Courant was all a whisper about some strange sightings. From their somewhat tongue in cheek tone the Courant don’t seem

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Getting the most out of Irish newspapers

If you’re interested in Irish history the Irish titles on the British Newspaper Archive can give you an insight that you won’t find in any history book. With more than 136 titles available to browse going back to the mid-18th century and right up to an independent Ireland they are a rich resource for political and social historians alike as well as the more casual reader. You’ll find a picture of day to day life, from the highest scented halls

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Victorian Servants’ Grievances

Michelle Higgs is a freelance feature writer, copywriter and author who has written a number of books on social history, particularly around the Victorian era. In late September, Michelle’s latest book Servants’ Stories: Life Below Stairs in Their Own Words will be released. It’s a collection of oral histories, memoirs and biographies from servants covering the period 1800 to 1950, and it includes some great articles found in the British Newspaper Archive. Michelle has kindly contributed this guest blog to

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