For the history blobbers out there…

By my age you should know a few things about yourself. I know for example that I am a history buff and that I am lazy. My favourite place in the whole world is my couch with a good history book in one hand, a cup of tea in the other and a fat cat on my lap. Bliss.

A recent discovery of mine that appeals is a little goldmine called Gale Newsvault. While sitting in your long johns at home you can enter a few keywords and search across four hundred years of history in one go. Where else can you see the original reports on Jack the Ripper (Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842-2003) or articles making fun of George Michael’s tan (Daily Mail Historical Archive 1896-2004)?

db-GaleNewsvault-CKEY708421In the 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection I can read eye-witness accounts of the voyages to New Zealand and the Boyd massacre or find out what personal attributes one needs to be a lady’s maid in 19th Century British Library Newspapers. Do I have a good character they all want to know? I am pretty sure I do, so I would never have attended the cock-fighting advertised in the Stanford Mercury in the Kings Arm’s on November 8th 1793.

You could easily lose hours cross searching 13 historical newspaper and magazine archives on Gale Newsvault. Which I have every intention of doing this weekend…

A ship might just as well strike a rock

View the whole Illustrated London News, April 20, 1912; Issue 3809 (‘Titanic’ Disaster (Special Number). As well as breaking news and related photographs of the Titanic, the issue also provides a fascinating insight into the worldview of a certain Great Britain in 1912. Including advertisements.

The Illustrated London News Archive Library: 1842-2003 – what a gem

Cover The Illustrated London News Archive Library is a fabulous addition to our collection of historical newspapers.

In the days before electronic media and popular travel, The Illustrated London News offered a view of the world that most of its readers could only otherwise imagine. With its début in 1842, The Illustrated London News  became the world’s first fully illustrated weekly newspaper, marking a revolution in journalism.

The publication presented a vivid picture of world events – including news of war, disaster, the arts and science – with coverage ranging from the Great Fire of Hamburg to Queen Victoria’s fancy dress ball at Buckingham Palace – both which feature in the first issue.

In this electronic resource library users have online access to the entire run of the ILN from its first publication on 14 May 1842 to its last in 2003. Each page has been digitally reproduced in full colour.  Facsimiles of these articles and illustrations can be viewed, printed and saved either individually or in the context of the page they appear in.

Illustrated London NewsThis resource can support scholarly and enthusiast research in social history, fashion, theatre, media, literature, advertising, graphic design and politics, as well as those interested in genealogy.

Have an explore and recommend at will.

You can access the Illustrated London News Archive Library and many other useful electronic resources from home with your library card number and PIN, or at our community libraries.