A free, searchable and browsable online version of the Northern Star newspaper is back online. This is great news for family historians and others without easy access to university libraries or paid-for digital newspaper websites.
Launched in 1837, a little in advance of the first publication of the People’s Charter, the Northern Star played a central role in organising, informing and spreading the culture of Chartism among a mass audience – not to mention cementing the position of Feargus O’Connor as the movement’s leading figure. It continued in one form or another until 1852.
The Nineteenth Century Serials Edition project launched a decade ago and gave access to the Star and to half a dozen other publications, but over time and as technology moved on it ceased to work properly.
Now it’s back.
Clearly much has changed since the project first went live in 2018, so I strongly suggest reading these reflections on compiling a 10-year update to the NCSE.
Even if you do have access to an alternative digitised version do take a look at the NCSE site – not least for the article about the history of the paper and its reproduction of the portrait prints distributed to readers of the Star over its first 10 years of publication.
Personally, I still find the British Newspaper Archive version of the Star easier to use, but this may well be a matter of familiarity and individual preference, and I am certainly not going to complain that the NCSE takes a different approach.
Congratulations and a huge thank-you to all involved.
Find the NCSE here.