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British Victorian Period Research: Periodicals and Newspapers as Primary Sources

This is a guide to doing research on topics about 19th-century Britain and Ireland, meant to be be useful to students in English literature and in history. Last updated 06-01-2023

Periodicals and Newspapers as Primary Sources

See our Online U.K. and Irish Newspapers library guide, which may have more papers than this list below.  But this list below has some databases that are not on the newspaper guide.  

Victorian Periodicals: Aids to Research: a Selected Bibliography
Selected bibliography covering 176 published works of great interest to students of the 19th-century press. Use this to facilite humanities research using Victorian periodicals. Previous edition in Main at PN 5124 .P4 V5 v. 1-2

The Gazette

The Gazette has a long and established history, and has been at the heart of British public life for almost 350 years.  During the 17th century publishing was thought to endanger national security, and this led to a climate in which the printing of any news not pertaining to the coverage of events aboard, natural disasters, official royal declarations and the most sensationalist of crime reporting was largely prohibited.  During the plague of 1665 the court in exile in Oxford to escape it began the Oxford Gazette.  This became the London Gazette afterwards, the first official journal of record and the newspaper of the Crown and Executive, an authoritative, reliable source of news. From 1665.  Published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, the British government printer.  This web site also includes the contents of the Edinburgh Gazette (reliably from 1793, but also some information from 1706), and the Belfast Gazette (from 1699).

Manchester Guardian, 1821-1825; 1828-1900; 1901-1959;

Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2000

Irish Times

1859-2012  From Dublin, Ireland

International Herald Tribune Archive

1887-2013  Complete archive from its inception as the European edition of the New York Herald and later the European edition of the New York Herald Tribune.  Ends with last issue of International Herald Tribune before its relaunch as International New York Times.

Daily Mail Historical Archive

1896-2004  Progressive newspaper for ordinary, busy people.  For emphasis and scope see the essay about its history in the "Essays" section of the web site.


1791-1900 From London


1901-2003 From London

Listener Historical Archive 1929-1991

The Listener was a weekly magazine established by the BBC in 1929 under its director-general, Lord Reith.  It was developed as the medium for reproducing broadcast talks, initially on radio, but in later years television as well, and was the intellectual counterpart to the BBC listings magazine Radio Times.  The Listener is one of the few records and means of accessing the content of many early broadcasts.  In addition to commenting on the intellectual broadcasts of the week, the listener also previewed major literary and musical shows and regularly reviewed new books.