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  • Newspapers

    Newspapers and Journals are normally archived locally and offer a rich, detailed resource of information unavailable elsewhere. Original publications will exist but most will have been copied onto microfiche or microfilm.

    Without specific dates to work with, and sometimes a lack of a detailed indexing system (i.e. they will be mainly filed by year and the researcher will have to trawl through each issue manually) this element of research can be very time consuming but ultimately very rewarding.

    death1882.jpg‚ÄčTo gain an appreciation of what is on offer you will need to speak in person to the resident archivist or assistant available. Quantity and breadth of resources may vary considerably. Newspapers will also be archived in other buildings such as libraries and local history study centres. As an example take a look at the range of papers available at Leicestershire Libraries.

    As a general rule you will find that daily newspapers will date from 1855 onwards. This was the result of the abolition of Stamp Duty in June 1855. Prior to this most papers available were weekly and relatively expensive to purchase. The concept of an evening paper actually dates back to the 19th century. If you cannot find a particular local paper try contacting the British Newspaper Library, Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HE.

    Popular sources are wartime sections, especially for World War II, where you may find dedications and reports relating to missing soldiers, casualties and awards, together with photographs. These sections often printed images of companies and battalions local to the area prior to a particular campaign, and in many cases were the last known images of these people.They also continued to run after the war following up the incidents of soldiers missing in action, imprisoned in camps, or reunited with family. Obituaries and personal tributes may also be found.

    Newspapers are classified as non-official records yet they provide us with intimate details otherwise unavailable. Wedding Notices will appear in some publications and may describe the bride's dress along with the names of the best man and bridesmaids. Obituaries will sometimes reveal the deceased's next of kin alongside their spouse, which is very helpful for tracing females that have married and changed their name. Funeral Notices and Reports will sometimes give lists of mourners, stating their relationship to the deceased and show personal messages from family connections that have not been previously considered.

    Newspapers can often be the only source of information about Coroners' Inquests as inquest records were usually destroyed after a few years. Newspapers may have the result of the inquest reproduced word for word and can name witnesses and next of kin present.

    N.B. Other links to newspapers can also be found on the national/county pages.

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