Search British Newspapers From 1800-1900

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 8, 2009
Updated • Dec 12, 2012

The Internet offers many people a chance to access resources and information that they could otherwise hardly - if at all - obtain. One interesting source of information is the British Newspapers 1800-1900 archive that is offered by the British Library. It allows everyone to search for topics in many newspapers of that century. Not all newspapers are included in the database which currently consists of newspaper archives of 49 newspapers of that time period.

Interested users can perform a text search which can either be broad or very specific. Advanced search parameters allow to specify a timeframe, place of publication, publication section, frequency and language among other parameters. It is furthermore possible to only search for information that are freely available.

A free search will only yield a few results compared to a full text search. Searching for Jack the Ripper will for instance displays 23 free results but 2035 free and pay to view results. All contents of the newspaper library are usually available for people in UK higher and further education and in some public libraries.

jack the ripper

Newspaper articles can be printed and marked as favorites. The British Newspaper archive can be accessed freely by people from all over the world.

Update: The service is still available, but it has turned commercial. While it is still possible to search the newspapers, users who want to access the newspapers need to get a 24-hour pass which is good for 100 articles, or a 7-day pass which lets you access 200 articles.


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  1. John Butler said on December 5, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    I have personnal letters and other items that belonged to Charles Sharp, Charles Orchard Sharp, Jack & George Sharp. It seems to me that grandfather, Charles Sharp, ran his own newspaper in the late 1800’s to early 1900.. Charles Orchard Sharp (son of former/father of latter two sons), worked for the Daily Chronicle in the 1890’s, (letters to prove, including letters from Frank Lloyd, the owner of the paper) in a prominent position I think. The two sons Jack and George were soldiers in the First World War. Jack died ‘in active duty’ and I have full details, George was invalided out and was on a pension…
    I am trying to find some ‘real’ information as to if grandfather ‘Charles Sharp’ did have a recognisable newspaper in the late 1800’s and to find out the exact employment details about Charles Orchard Sharp with The Daily Chronicle in the 1890’s. Can you help me please/
    Best regards, John Butler.

    1. Alison Neely said on July 10, 2011 at 8:50 pm

      Most interested in your posting. I am the grandaughter of Frances Elizabeth Orchard Sharp, daughter to Charles Orchard Sharp and sister to Jack and George. There were 2 further sisters, Alice and Mary. I have alot of photos and Sharp family papers, plus the clock presented to Charles Sharp on the occasion of his retirement from the position of Chief sub-editor of the Daily Chronicle on 7th June 1899. Charles Orchard Sharp also worked on the Daily Chronicle as a journalist and I think as a sub-editor. In about 1904/5 C O Sharp left the Daily Chronicle and bought a weekly paper – the Cornish and Devon Post in Launceston. I know very little about the family of Charles Sharp and would be interested to know more.

      1. Roger Pyke said on October 18, 2014 at 8:19 pm

        Hi Alison and John,
        I have just come across these two posts of yours as I am researching into Charles and his son Jack for the’ Launceston then’ website. ( If by any luck you do come back to these posts, I would love to hear from either of you and glean some information on their life.

        Regards Roger Pyke

  2. hwsris said on July 11, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    thank Martin , its very helpfull for the students.

  3. Vanillaman said on July 9, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Wow! This is great for research if you’re really into your history and want to get as close to the facts as possible, rather than get it from arrogant opinionated academics. It shows actual copies of newspaper coverage of historical events of the day.

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