“Children’s Paper” among latest additions to “Free to View Pages” on the British Newspaper Archive

Following the extension of an successful partnership with the British Library, earlier this year, millions of pages are being made free to view on the British Newspaper Archive, although deeper access still requires a paid subscription.

One million of these free to view pages were made available back in August, but the open access project is continuing apace, and among the latest additions this week is the Children’s Paper, which by 1920 cost one penny and appeared every month, filling 24 pages.

(This title should not be confused with The Children’s Newspaper, owned by Look and Learn, details of that title available separately through ProQuest).

While the pages are generally free to view, you are still required to buy a subscription or pay as you go for full access.

The Children’s Paper was founded in 1855 by Christian publishers T. Nelson and Sons, who began their business in Edinburgh and are now based in Nashville, Tennessee, and continue to be “world leading publishers and providers of Christian content.”

Described in 1857 as “The Best of All Juvenile Publications of the Day,” the Children’s Paper was one of Britain’s earliest publications to be solely directed at children.

With an audience of up to sixteen years of age, the title provides a wonderful window into what life was like for young people in the 1920s.

The advertisements in the newspaper are particularly illustrative of this, including one, for example, for a book called The Children’s Story of the War by Sir Edward Parrott, suggesting the difficulties for children growing up after the devastating conflict of just a couple of years before.

Other specialist titles now available to read online for free are the Gallery Gazette, first published in 1921 and appeared monthly, aiming to “represent the playgoing public, more especially those who frequent the cheaper parts of the theatre.”; the monthly Irish Exile, first published on 1stMarch 1921, “An Organ of Irish Movements In and Around London”; the Modern Man, was “A Weekly Journal of Masculine Interests” that was first published on 7th November 1908, becoming Modern Life in 1913 to include a female audience, including for example, “Royal and Society News”; the beautifully illustrated Motor Owner, which arrived on the publishing scene in June 1919; the “lavishly illustrated” love-letter to cinema, Movie-Land, edited by journalist and writer Helen Sevrez, first published on 3rd January 1921 at the cost of six pence, which had a particular focus on British cinema, sadly running for just five issues; and, finally for this week, the Yacht Owner and Motor Boat Owner. With its preliminary issue appearing on 5th January 1924, its first official edition appeared on 15th March 1924.

Working together over the past decade to provide the largest online collection of British newspapers, the British Newspaper Archive now hosts over 44 million pages in total, with a remit that extends beyond Britain and Ireland to cover, for example, Jamaica, India and New Zealand.

Alongside regional weekly newspapers, and national dailies, sit specialist sporting, religious, political, cinema and fashion titles, all bringing history to life and telling stories from the past, which otherwise might have been lost forever.

While this is a treasure trove for historians, for those of us seeking to document the history of newspaper cartoons and comics, this is a terrific extension of a useful service, given how difficult it can be for some to access the physical holdings of the Library.

Check out the British Newspaper Archive online here

There’s a detailed blog post about the specialist magazine additions to the free pages here in the British Newspaper Archive

Please note that while the pages of the magazines noted above are generally free to view, you are still required to buy a subscription or pay as you go for full access

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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