The International Coalition on Newspapers (ICON) helps you find out if newspapers from a certain place or time period have been digitized, and how you might access them.
19th-century British Periodicals
At the Circulating Library, a site developed by Troy J. Bassett and hosted by the Victorian Research Web, is very helpful for finding out information about the publishers of particular Victorian novels and where they were first serialized.
Dickens Journals Online: this site has the full text of the journals Dickens edited (and to which he contributed some of his own fiction). Other important Victorian authors also wrote in these pages, including Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South) and Wilkie Collins (The Woman in White, The Moonstone, etc.). I also enjoy reading the other articles that appeared alongside this fiction. If you read either The Woman in White or The Moonstone, for instance, you would come across several other articles on, for instance, perceptions of China and the Chinese, the treatment of the insane, and developments in the study of biology.
The Nineteenth-century Serials Edition offers free digitized versions of six nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers, the Monthly Repository and Unitarian Chronicle, the Northern Star, the Leader, the English Woman’s Journal, Tomahawk, and Publishers’ Circular. (This is a NINES site.)
The Spectator archive (1828–2008) is available here.
Other sources for periodicals: Some digitized periodicals can also be found using a Google books advanced search or Internet Archive search. The UPENN Online Books page also keeps a list of the volumes of many Victorian periodicals that are available online. Search for titles that are of interest.
Non-open-access sources: Researches studying eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain should also be aware of the British Newspaper Archive. This resource is not open access. However, unlike most databases of British periodicals, it is available to individual subscribers (rather than only to libraries). Victorianists in Taiwan are probably already using British Periodicals as well (Proquest). Academia Sinica and National Taiwan University both have subscriptions.
American Periodicals (Historical)
Chronicling America: America’s Historic Newspapers has American newspapers from 1789–1924. “Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.”
The Research Society for American Periodicals has a useful list of resources with links to full-text sites.
Non-open access sources: Accessible Archives provides annual and quarterly personal subscriptions to “large collections of newspapers and books from the 18th and 19th Centuries.” Before subscribing, researchers may wish to check that the periodical in which they have interest is not already digitized in Chronicling America.
Specific Subjects and Titles:
- The Chinese American experience from Harper’s Weekly, 1857–92
- Digital History’s “Asian Voices”
- Japanese American Internet Camp Newspapers (Library of Congress)
- William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator (1831–65)
- See the installments of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin in The Era.
For open-access periodicals that publish current research, see The Directory of Open-Access Journals (DOAJ). You may also wish to explore the list of gold access journals at the Open Library of Humanities.
Please let me know of other open-access resources that belong on this page.
Return to the Open-Access Resources main page.