Thursday, December 1, 2011

British Newspaper Archive - Great History Resource

The British Newspaper Archive has scanned millions of pages of historical newspapers and made them available online for the first time ever. Search millions of articles by keyword, name, location, date or title and watch your results appear in an instant. Compare this with hours of painstaking manual searching through hard copies or microfilm often requiring a visit to the British Library in North London and it is easy to appreciate the ground breaking nature of this project.

You can search;
News Articles - read about national events, as well as issues of local and regional importance. News articles are your window into daily life in historical Britain.
Family Notices - search for your family's birth, marriage and death notices plus related announcements including engagements, anniversaries, birthdays and congratulations.
Letters - read letters to the editor written by the newspaper's readers, including illuminating contemporary debates, aspirations and anxieties.
Obituaries view contemporary information on the lives of notable individuals and ancestors.
Advertisements - these include classifieds, shipping notices and appointments..Illustrations - see photographs, engravings, graphics, maps and editorial cartoons.
Small excerpt- first hand account of the Battle of Waterloo

Friday 10 November 1815

This is an excellent resource for Modern History. Access newspaper reports and stories from the days immediately after the event you are studying. This is an opportunity to view the Primary Source within it’s original context - a newspaper. 
  • What other articles were in the newspaper that day?
  • What were the letters to the editors about?
  • What local or national issues were also being discussed?
  • What advertisements were displayed?
  • What was the bias of the newspaper in question?
  • How were the incidents reported on over the following days?
  • Locate great quotes from historical figure involved.
Classroom Activities:
There is a wealth of information, facts, figures and images all located in a verifiable primary source. The activities that this resource suggests is mind blowing. Imagine creating a series of research quests that your students have to complete in order to complete the course.  Students could;
  • Map out articles about a particular issue over time
  • Gauge public opinion about international incidents
  • Document the action and words of public figure, politician or monarchs
  • Collect attributable dialogue for role plays or re-enactments
  • Ceate a snapshot of everyday life in a particular era through the study of advertisements
  • Publish there own textbook based on articles collected from a specific era 
  • Collect political cartoons of the day


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