Newspapers Online

From the Archives: NarrowBoat, Winter 2015

Joseph Boughey

Joseph Boughey explores the digital resources available to waterway historians and uncovers some fascinating stories

Newspapers can provide a large amount of incidental detail, often in scattered and miscellaneous form, which is not recorded elsewhere. Newspaper cutting files, that some organisations like the Inland Waterways Association kept, are invaluable, if selective. To look through physical files of newspapers page by page can be a tedious and tiring activity, and incredibly time consuming. The arrival of digitisation, with the indexation of contents, has opened up newspaper sources in practice. The largest collection, that of the British Library, is expanding online but is behind a paywall as The British Newspaper Archive. This article considers a collection that has been freely available online since 2013; known as Welsh Newspapers Online, it has digitised the collections of the National Library of Wales, between 1804 and 1919. The British Newspaper Archive does not yet include many newspapers from South Wales, so the WNO site is especially useful for that area. Searching for ‘canals&…

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