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Michigan State University

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.

Periodicals and Newspapers as Primary Sources

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


This online version is from HathiTrust which has much full text from 1841 until copyright coverage 1922/23.  We have paper copies in Murray and Hong Special Collections Comic Art Collection, AP 101 .P8 [1841-1992].  We have most, but not all paper issues.  British weekly magazine of humour and satire established in 1841 by Henry Mayhew and engraver Ebenezer Landells. Historically, it was most influential in the 1840s and 50s, when it helped to coin the term "cartoon" in its modern sense as a humorous illustration. It became a British institution, but after the 1940s, when its circulation peaked, it went into a long decline, finally closing in 1992. It was revived in 1996, but closed again in 2002.

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

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