Friday, 2 March 2012

Chartist newspapers go online

Many of the most significant Chartist newspapers have now become available online to the public thanks to a British Library initiative to digitise and publish more than 2 million pages of material from 19th century newspapers. 

Among the papers that can now be viewed are the Charter, Chartist, Chartist Circular, Northern Liberator, Reynolds's Newspaper and the Southern Star. 

The most significant of the Chartist papers, Feargus O'Connor's Northern Star, is also available using the new service, although this has been separately available for some time wtihout cost at the Nineteenth Century Serials Edition website

Up to now, the British Library initiative, carried out in partnership with JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) and Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has been available only through academic libraries and at the National Archives. 

Making the papers more widely available will be a massive boost to family historians who believe they may have Chartist ancestors since newspapers are among the best sources for names and often detailed accounts of Chartist activities. 

The one drawback is cost. A 24-hour pass which allows access to 100 articles costs £6.99, while a seven-day pass limited to 200 articles costs £9.99 – so it will pay to plan searches in advance. 

Both the Penny Illustrated paper and The Graphic can be searched and viewed free of charge.
Articles from Chartist Ancestors that may help you

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