Resource in Focus: The Listener Archive

The Library has access to The Listener Historical Archive for its entire run from 1929-1991.

The Listener was a weekly magazine established by the BBC in 1929 under its director-general, Lord Reith. It was initially developed as the medium for reproducing broadcast talks on the radio, but in later years, television as well, and was the intellectual counterpart to the BBC listings magazine, Radio Times. It is one of the few records and means of accessing the content of many early broadcasts, and also regularly reviewed new books.

The Listener developed a reputation for outstanding writing, with contributions from the major writers, artists, commentators and thinkers of the twentieth century, including E.M. Forster, George Orwell and Virginia Woolf. It’s an invaluable resource for those researching the critical reception of culture in the twentieth century, and the response of the public.

You can browse The Listener by date to find a specific issue, or search in various ways (choose Advanced Search to see all options, including searching by section of the magazine, author or date.)

Additional search features on the home page include Term Frequency, to trace how often a word, phrase or person has featured in The Listener over the years, and Topic Finder, to explore and visualise connections between topics.

As the Listener archive is published by the company Gale, you can cross-search it with any of the other Gale archives to which we have access, via Gale Primary Sources.

Resource in Focus: Punch Historical Archive, 1841-1992

The Library has access to the entire digitised archive of Punch from 1841-1992.

Punch was a famous satirical magazine which played a central role in the formation of British identity, and how the rest of the world saw Britain. This archive covers all volumes of Punch between 1841-1992, including special numbers, prefaces, epilogues, indexes, images and other specially produced material from the bound volumes. It’s an excellent resource for researching nineteenth and twentieth century political and social history, through provocative and entertaining satirical commentary.

To find out more about Punch, click Research Tools to read a selection of essays about different periods of its history.

Menu screenshot

You can browse Punch by date to find a specific issue, or search in various ways (choose Advanced Search to see all options, including searching by section of the magazine, illustration type or date.)

Additional search features on the home page include Term Frequency, to trace how often a word, phrase or person has featured in Punch over the years, and Topic Finder, to explore and visualise connections between topics.

As the Punch archive is published by the company Gale, you can cross-search it with any of the other Gale archives to which we have access, via Gale Primary Sources.

Resource in Focus: Picture Post Historical Archive 1938-1957

We have access to the complete digitised archive of Picture Post from 1938-1957. Picture Post was a British magazine (seen as the British equivalent of Life magazine) which was renowned for its use of photojournalism, in an era before television. It covered social and political issues, as well as providing a visual record of everyday life in Britain during and after World War Two.

You can browse the full colour archive by date to find a specific issue, or search in various ways (choose Advanced Search to see all options, including searching by section of the magazine, illustration type, or by date.)

Additional search features on the home page include Term Frequency, to trace how often a word, phrase or person featured in Picture Post over the years, and Topic Finder, to explore and visualise connections between topics.

As the Picture Post archive is published by the company Gale, you can cross-search it with any of the other Gale archives to which we have access, via Gale Primary Sources.

Be Connected: Using Newspapers and Audio-visual material in your research

As part of the University’s Be Connected week, we ran a webinar focusing on newspapers and audio-visual resources, highlighting the benefits of using these fantastic resources and how to get the most out of our databases. 

If you missed out on the webinar – fear not! We’ve put together a handy summary of key resources and take-aways for you to explore. Presentation slides from the webinar can also be found at the end of the blog. 

Three newspapers piled on a desk next to a mug of tea.

Why are newspapers and audio-visual resources useful? 

Well, these resources can be an invaluable source of information as they offer different perspectives on events or topics, by offering commentary and opinions and art (via adverts or cartoons) that reflect the social, political and cultural attitudes of a particular place and time. 

They’re a fascinating alternative to the more authoritative voice of journal articles and books – and while they obviously come with a range of bias and inevitable fake news, this presents unique opportunities for analysis and discussion. 

Can’t I just use Google to find out about the news? 

The main benefits of using Library resources over Google is access – while some newspapers, such as the Guardian, allow you to read their articles for free, most do not or if they do, you’ll find the page covered in annoying adverts and pop-ups.  With our resources it’s simple to access, download and save articles or images from a wide range of newspaper sources. 

Our databases also have tailored advanced search and filter options that help you to narrow down your search and find exactly what you need.  Google does have some basic date filters and you can use the advanced search to limit to a particular source and document type but it’s not as simple or intuitive. 

However, accessing newspaper websites via Google does offer the option of browsing through the day’s news articles, and provides the associated pictures and photographs, which are lacking in some of our databases. 

Where can I find the Library’s newspaper archives? 

The Library provides access to a wide range of UK and international newspapers from the 17th century to the present day, mainly in online format. You can access and find information about all these resources on our Newspapers Guide

As a starting point, we’d recommend trying Lexis for current news and Gale Primary Sources for historic news archives.  Both of these resources allow you to search a wide range of sources at once and both have great search tools! 

You can watch the video guides below to learn how to use these databases: 

Are there any other useful resources related to news and the media? 

For TV and radio news programmes, you might like to take a look at Box of Broadcasts, which provides access to broadcasts from over 65 channels dating from 2007. 

If you’re more interested in media commentary and analysis, the Film and Television Index provides coverage on film and television theory, writing, production, cinematography, technical aspects, and reviews, while Statista offers insights and data on the newspaper and television industries. 

For more ideas, explore our Film Subject Guide, and Images Resource Guide

Delving Deeper

To find out more about this subject of news resources and getting the best out of them, check out the slides from this Be connected: using newspapers and audio-visual resources webinar.

Resource in Focus: Times Literary Supplement Archive

Screenshot of TLS banner

We have access to the Times Literary Supplement (TLS) archive from 1902-2014.

The archive brings you the full content of this world-renowned weekly literary and arts publication, dating back to its first issue. For over a century, the TLS has published reviews, features, debates and original works from across the arts world, not to mention its legendary letters page!

Many of the world’s most notable writers and thinkers have contributed to the TLS over the decades, including T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden, Seamus Heaney, Noam Chomsky, Virginia Woolf, Bertolt Brecht and Umberto Eco. Until 1974, contributions published in the TLS were often anonymous, but the digital archive now reveals the identity of all contributors.

To find out more about the TLS, click Research Tools to read a selection of essays about different periods of its history.

Menu screenshot

You can browse the TLS by date to find a specific issue, or search in various ways (choose Advanced Search to see all options, including searching by contributor, book title, or document type.)

Additional search features on the home page include Term Frequency, to trace how often a word, phrase or person has featured in the TLS over the years, and Topic Finder, to explore and visualise connections between topics.

Screenshot of topic finder
Topic finder

As the TLS archive is published by the company Gale, you can cross-search it with any of the other Gale archives to which we have access, via Gale Primary Sources.

New resource: Irish Newspaper Archives

Following a successful trial, the Library now has access to the Irish Newspaper Archives: a fascinating resource for any aspect of Irish studies.

It provides access to the archives of national and local Irish newspapers from the 1700s to the present day. Major national titles such as the Irish Examiner, Irish Independent and Sunday Independent are included, together with a wide range of regional titles, such as the Meath Chronicle, Kerryman, Connacht Tribune and Ulster Herald.

The archive is updated daily with the latest editions of current titles, and it also includes significant newspapers which are no longer published, such as the Freeman’s Journal and The Nation.

Title pages of Irish newspapers
A selection of title pages from the archive.

You can search and refine your results in various ways, or choose browse to look through individual newspapers by date. Various save and export options are available, and there are some short help videos on the archive’s home page to give you some tips (note, these don’t have sound). Follow Irish News on Twitter for interesting highlights from the archive.

Thank you to everyone who gave us feedback on the trial.

Historic newspaper archives upgrade

If you use any of our historic newspaper and periodical archives which are published by Gale, you’ll notice they have recently upgraded their platform.

There is no change to the content, but you should notice a more unified design on the search pages, together with improvements to the display of search results, plus new search tools, including ‘topic finder’ and ‘more like this’. You can also use ‘term frequency’ on all Gale databases to analyse the use of a particular term over time.

The following collections are affected:

British Library Newspapers; Burney Newspapers; Eighteenth Century Collections Online; Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals.

Together with these individual archives:

Picture Post; Punch; The Daily Mail; The Economist; The Financial Times; The Independent; The Listener; The Sunday Times; The Telegraph; The Times; The Times Literary Supplement.

Read more about the improvements.

Where can I find all these resources?

They are all individually catalogued on Library Search, or you can find quick links to them all (plus resources from other publishers) on our historic news guide. If you would like to search across several Gale resources at once, search Gale Primary Sources.

Where can I get more advice about searching historic newspapers online?

Watch our short video for lots of helpful tips.

Resource in Focus: Finding UK news with Lexis

Lexis is primarily a legal database, but it also provides access to UK news from 1990 to the present day.

This resource covers national and regional newspapers, as well as broadsheets. We speak to a lot of students and academics who don’t realise that this resource covers publications such as The Times Educational Supplement and The Times Higher Education (although we now also have an institutional account for The Times Higher Education. Details of how to set up an account and access it can be found here).

For more information on what sources are covered by Lexis, simply click on ‘Sources’ section located in the top right hand corner once you are logged in. Below is a short introductory video of how to access and find information in Lexis. If you are looking for information on how to access international and historic newspapers, as well as business and TV/audio news, then check out our newspaper resources guide.

 

News and media resources

New from the humanities library liaison team!

Every week, we’re giving you quick Twitter tips and tricks to help you get the best out of our resources. We’ve got so many great collections, it can be hard to keep up with what’s on offer. So sit back and let us tweet you to search success!

Last week, we focused on our news and media resources. Missed our tweets? Don’t worry, we’ve compiled them all together into a Twitter moment below!