British Periodicals traces the development and growth of the periodical press in Britain from its origins in the seventeenth century through to the Victorian 'age of periodicals' and beyond. On completion this unique digital archive will consist of more than 460 periodical runs published from the 1680s to the 1930s, comprising six million keyword-searchable pages and forming an unrivalled record of more than two centuries of British history and culture.
Among the periodicals in included in British Periodicals are titles founded, edited or regularly contributed to by a host of important figures - Walter Bagehot, Aubrey Beardsley, Annie Besant, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Frances Power Cobbe, William Cobbett, Daniel Defoe, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Henry Fielding, Ford Madox Ford, Oliver Goldsmith, Leigh Hunt, Jerome K. Jerome, Samuel Johnson, Sir Roger L'Estrange, G. H. Lewes, Harriet Martineau, Edward Moore, John Morley, John Henry Newman, Margaret Oliphant, W. M. Rossetti, Sir Richard Steele and Tobias Smollett to name but a few. In addition to providing access to the original periodical versions of landmark texts like De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Carlyle's Sartor Resartus, Cobbett's Rural Rides, Bagehot's The English Constitution, Gaskell's North and South and Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles, the collection offers new ways of exploring the inaccessible, neglected or forgotten writings that formed their original contexts. A wide array of different types of periodical are represented, from magisterial quarterlies and scholarly and professional organs through to coterie art periodicals, penny weeklies and illustrated family magazines.
For ease of on-screen reading and rapid downloading, each page in British Periodicals is available by default as a high-resolution bitonal facsimile image. Scholars requiring a more realistic and nuanced rendering of the original printed source also have the option of downloading a high-resolution grayscale facsimile of each page. Both types of facsimile image will be available whether users access British Periodicals titles through the dedicated British Periodicals standalone interface or through the generic Periodicals Archive Online interface. All illustrations and advertisements present in the printed source are scanned, indexed and made searchable in the electronic edition.
British Periodicals consists of two separate collections, British Periodicals Collection I and British Periodicals Collection II.
British Periodicals Collection I consists of more than 160 journals that comprise the UMI microfilm collection Early British Periodicals, the equivalent of 5,238 printed volumes containing approximately 3.1 million pages. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts and the social sciences.
British Periodicals Collection II consists of more than 300 journals from the UMI microfilm collections English Literary Periodicals and British Periodicals in the Creative Arts together with additional titles, amounting to almost 3 million pages. Topics covered include literature, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture.
September 13, 2010