C18th Newspapers, Journals and Periodicals

Although there has been considerable digitization of historic English serial publications, the vast majority are sequestered behind paywalls, and are not only inaccessible for many, but also severely restricted for those with access in how they may be (efficiently) used. For the eighteenth century, the situation is exacerbated by the poor quality of what were quite ephemeral publications, wear and tear on the originals digitized, some poor quality scans, some taken from surrogate microfiche, and low quality OCR that makes no attempt to render or accommodate the fonts of the age. Consequently, English newspapers and periodicals have not been as systematically used, mined or analysed to as great an extent as they could be.

As a step towards improving discoverability and use, not least for my own purposes, this is a preliminary list of eighteenth century serials that are freely accessible and reusable. It draws greatly on the work of others, and should only be regarded as one person’s first, exploratory survey.

Analytical Review: 1788 – 1799. Full run at Hathi Trust. Wikipedia article.

Annual Register: 1758 and continuing. Wikipedia has links to some c18th volumes; Hathi Trust has a nearly complete set.

Caledonian Mercury: 1720 to 1867. Access to all but 4 years (1736, 1757, 1770 and 1803) via British Newspaper Archive; free registration required. Wikipedia article.

Derry Journal: Founded in 1772, a run of issues from the first to 1806 is available from Ulster University via Jstor. Wikipedia article.

Dublin Gazette: 1705 to 1922. See Wikipedia for links to volumes published from 1750 to 1800 on the Oireachtas archive. Very large downloads. (Links currently 406ing, due to misconfigured database.)

Edinburgh Gazette: Began publishing in 1699, but appeared only sporadically until the 1790s. The official U.K. Gazettes website has numbers from 367 (1796) on.  Wikipedia article.

Gentleman’s Magazine: 1731 to 1833. Full run at C18th Booktracker.

Historical Register: Full set, 1716 – 1738, at Hathi Trust.

Lloyd’s List and Lloyd’s Register: Important sources for maritime and commercial history, so also for the slave trade; mostly tabular data. Lloyd’s List at Hathi Trust; Maritime Achives; Lloyd’s Register at Hathi Trust; Lloyd’s Foundation.

London Chronicle: 1756 to 1823. See Wikipedia for links to 27 volumes available on Google and Hathi Trust.

London Gazette: 1665 and continuing. Full archive online at the Gazette website. See also Wikipedia. Note that (mis)numbering of issues happened a few times in the eighteenth century, and this affects the official Archive’s curation.

London Magazine: c18th Booktracker lists many copies;  UPenn’s Online Books lists a full run.

Monthly Review: 1749 to 1845. Wikipedia. Links at Penn Online Books. Links at the c18th Booktracker.

Political State of Great Britain: 1711 to 1740. Full run of 60 volumes listed at c18th Booktracker.

Scots Magazine: 1739 to 1826. Many volumes at Hathi Trust. Article at Wikipedia.

Spectator: Wikipedia article has links to originals and reprints.

Town and Country Magazine: 1769 to 1796. Many volumes at Hathi Trust.

Whitehall Evening Post: Google Books has volumes for 1755 and 1756. Wikipedia article.

This list draws heavily upon the work done by Benjamin Pauley’s Eighteenth Century Booktracker, and the Penn Online Books site. See also: Wikipedia list of c18th periodicals.