Thursday 18 June 2009
Over two million pages of 19th and early 20th century newspapers go online today, part of the vast British Library collection.
The 49 British national and regional titles cover events including the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815 "Vague reports have been made of the numbers slain on both sides ... We should not quote them if our silence could prevent the spreading of disastrous intelligence", the Morning Chronicle reported. There was also the banks crisis of 1878, the first FA Cup final in 1872, and the triumph of the music hall star Vesta Tilley in a talent contest.
The site http://newspapers.bl.uk/blcs holds journals including the True Crime of its day, the Illustrated Police News which covered the Jack the Ripper murders. The British Library worked in partnership with the Joint Information Systems Committee and Gale, part of Cengage Learning, to create the service. Searches are free, but users can pay to download information.