Friday, 2 March 2012

The Northern Star is now online

A free and fully searchable edition of the Northern Star is now available online. Although still officially in a beta (test) version, you can find this important Chartist newspaper on the Nineteenth Century Serials Edition website along with a number of other papers from the period.

Go straight to the Northern Star online.

Getting the paper up and running like this is a fantastic achievement for all concerned, and they deserve the thanks of family historians everywhere for their efforts.

These are early days, and I am still getting to grips with the site. I was delighted to see that along with the paper, the site includes about half of the 34 prints known to have been given away with the paper during its 15-year existence.

This version also has an advantage over the version available to academic institutions since last year in that it each page of the Northern Star that you open is accompanied by metadata – information about the page itself.

On the downside, I have not so far found the process of getting from a search result to an image of that word or phrase on the page particularly easy to navigate. But these are early days and any archive as sophisticated of this needs and deserves some practice.

I have now added a page called How to read the Northern Star to Chartist Ancestors. It is not yet complete, but it is worth getting a bit of the history before you have a look at the paper itself...

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