Robyn Jakeman

The number of additions to the extant NCSE bibliography this year is substantial. To the list of approximately one hundred and ten monographs and edited books on nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers in the 2008 bibliography, over one hundred and eighty entries for monographs, chapters, and edited books have been added in 2018. Although individual chapters did not feature in the previous bibliography, and a few older titles have been added, the number of new critical texts remains considerable. While this could be partly attributed to an overzealousness for list making on the researcher’s part, it is also indicative of an increasing scholarly interest in periodicals and newspapers within the broader field of nineteenth-century studies. When the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals was formed in 1968, its official organ, the Victorian Periodicals Review, was also founded: since then it has been a thriving resource for periodical scholarship. The Research Society for American Periodicals and its journal, American Periodicals: A Journal of History & Criticism, has been active since 1991, and frequently publishes on periodicals of the nineteenth century. But more recently, new organizations and journals have also been established, with the intention of further promoting the study of periodicals and newspapers. The Journal of Modern Periodical Studies, which investigates newspapers, periodicals, and magazines from 1880 to 1950 in the English-speaking world, published its first issue in 2010. ESPRit, the European Society for Periodical Research, was instituted in 2009 by scholars from Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and its annual themed conferences provide a forum for scholars working in different disciplines on periodicals in various European languages.1 The organization’s official journal, the online, open-access Journal of European Periodical Studies, was more recently founded, in 2016, and is ‘devoted to the study of periodicals and newspapers in Europe from the seventeenth century to the present’.2 Such a focus offers a transnational perspective on periodical and newspaper scholarship that is a fruitful new area of research, particularly during a time in which the nineteenth-century press — from across the world — is increasingly being made available to scholars online.

A number of significant reference works on nineteenth-century newspapers and periodicals have also been published over the last ten years, highlighting the new critical attention given to the nineteenth-century press, and rendering the enormity of the nineteenth-century periodical archive more accessible to the new researcher. First of these, the Dictionary of Nineteenth-Century Journalism (2009), edited by Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor, details in alphabetical order: individual journalists and authors; editors; proprietors of serials; printers of serials; illustrators; publishers; titles; and topics of nineteenth-century journalism. Alexis Easley, Andrew King, and John Morton’s edited volume The Routledge Handbook to Nineteenth-Century British Periodicals and Newspapers (2016) offers twenty-nine chapters on current research in the field of the long nineteenth century, divided into sections on ‘Production and Reproduction’, ‘Contributors and Contributions’, ‘Geographies’, and ‘Taxonomies’, along with a chronology of the nineteenth-century press. To complement this volume, Researching the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press: Case Studies (2018), also edited by Easley, King, and Morton, demonstrates how various scholars have carried out their research. Joanne Shattock’s edited volume Journalism and the Periodical Press in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2017) is an indispensable guide to the field of nineteenth-century journalism and periodicals, covering a diverse range of topics that includes digital resources, reviews, illustration, law, globalization, and individual journalists. The cumulative effect of these recent works is that researchers in the field, both new and experienced, are afforded more guidance than ever before to the vastness and potential pitfalls of the nineteenth-century periodical and newspaper archive, as well as to a constantly evolving academic field. The overview of the industry provided by the indexes of the DNCJ; the Routledge Handbook’s wide-ranging survey of the current field; the exploration of various scholars’ methodologies and resources provided by the Routledge Case Studies; and the introduction of Journalism and the Periodical Press all, in different and complementary ways, seek to comprehensively map the nineteenth-century British press for the twenty-first century.

In addition to these, a number of recent works take as their focus individual newspaper or periodical titles, such as Catherine Waters’s Commodity Culture in Dickens’s Household Words: The Social Life of Goods (2008); Patrick Leary’s The Punch Brotherhood: Table Talk and Print Culture in Mid-Victorian London (2010); Romanticism and Blackwood’s Magazine: ‘An Unprecedented Phenomenon’ (2013), edited by Robert Morrison and Daniel S. Roberts; and The News of the World and the British Press, 1843–2011: 'Journalism for the Rich, Journalism for the Poor' (2015), edited by Laurel Brake, Chandrika Kaul, and Mark W. Turner. Critical attention has also been paid to individual journalists and writers, such as: W. T. Stead: Newspaper Revolutionary , edited by Laurel Brake, Ed King, Roger Luckhurst, and James Mussell (2012); a special issue of 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century on W. T. Stead (2013)3; Fionnuala Dillane’s monograph Before George Eliot: Marian Evans and the Periodical Press (2013); David Latané’s William Maginn and the British Press: A Critical Biography (2013); and Peter Blake’s George Augustus Sala and the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press: The Personal Style of a Public Writer (2016), among many others. Other works have focused on print genres, such as Elizabeth Carolyn Miller’s Slow Print: Literary Radicalism and Late Victorian Print Culture (2013), Martin Hewitt’s The Dawn of the Cheap Press in Victorian Britain: The End of the ‘Taxes on Knowledge’, 1849–1869 (2014), and Koenraad Claes’s The Late-Victorian Little Magazine (2018); as well as media phenomena, such as Joel Weiner’s The Americanization of the British Press, 1830s–1914: Speed in the Age of Transatlantic Journalism (2011), Julie Codell and Linda K. Hughes’s recent edited volume Replication in the Long Nineteenth Century: Re-Makings and Reproductions (2018), and David Finkelstein’s Moveable Types: Roving Creative Printers of the Victorian World (2018), which explores the development of print networks in the Anglophone world. Meanwhile, there has also been a considerable amount of research on women writing in the nineteenth-century press, including Linda H. Peterson’s edited volume The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Women’s Writing (2015), and Marianne Van Remoortel’s Women, Work and the Victorian Periodical: Living by the Press (2015).

There is also much important writing on the intersection between nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers and the digital humanities. Ryan Cordell’s article ‘What has the Digital Meant to American Periodicals Scholarship?’ (2016) gives a useful overview of the impact of the digital archive on periodical scholarship, while Patrick Leary and Paul Fyfe have both written on the importance of serendipity — the ‘fortuitous connections’ and discoveries facilitated by text searching in the digital archive — in nineteenth-century research.4 Other scholars have written on textual reuse in nineteenth-century newspapers and periodicals, and how using digital technologies allows us to map these instances: Cordell’s chapter ‘Virtual Textuality in Nineteenth-Century US Newspaper Exchanges’ in Victoria Alfano and Andrew Stauffer’s edited volume Virtual Victorians: Networks, Connections, Technologies (2015), and Melodee Beals’s article ‘Scissors and Paste: The Georgian Reprints, 1800–1837’ (2017) are invaluable resources for better understanding these technologies.

But while there are benefits of using digital technologies to analyse nineteenth-century print culture, it is also necessary to recognize what is lost when we study newspapers and magazines in digitized form. James Mussell’s The Nineteenth-Century Press in the Digital Age (2012) argues that the large-scale digitization of nineteenth-century printed material does not only make nineteenth-century periodicals more accessible, it also always entails a transformation of the primary source, and it is therefore vital for the researcher to be not only a ‘critical reader of the nineteenth-century press’, but also a ‘critical user of digital resources’.5 The digitized periodical or newspaper is never an exact replica of the original: moreover, through text searching, we never interact with materials in the same way that the reader of the nineteenth century did. In her article ‘SIDEWAYS! Navigating the Material(ity) of Print Culture’ (2014), Linda K. Hughes argues that while text searching is undoubtedly a useful tool, interacting with printed newspapers and periodicals remains vital for understanding ‘how print organizes itself locally, materially, and temporally’: reading through issues chronologically builds ‘horizons of expectations that makes legible an array of temporal and material cruxes in print culture, from changes in formatting to interruptions of serial features by news events or popular demand’.6 Optical character recognition (OCR) software may allow us to find patterns and trends more efficiently, but it does not always produce reliable transcripts of the original material, nor, we are becoming increasingly aware, does it capture everything on the printed page. As Paul Fyfe has argued in his article ‘An Archaeology of Victorian Newspapers’ (2016), there is a ‘largely hidden history of how Victorian data gets to now’, and our ‘justifiable enthusiasm for linking past and present has effectively erased the interval between — the twentieth-century transmission histories that established the parameters for scholarly resources in digital form’. New media, he writes, ‘is always in the process of constituting itself as new, erasing the legacies of its entanglements and the continuous work of its propagation’.7 There is also the problem, as a number of scholars have observed, of who is able to access digital periodical and newspaper collections when they are sold by commercial providers at a price that is too costly for many university institutions, and certainly for independent researchers.8 Nevertheless, the advance of the digital humanities, particularly over the last ten years, has certainly meant that scholars of the nineteenth century have a multitude of resources for accessing periodicals and newspapers in digitized, online archives, and for analysing the information these websites present. As Mussell has observed, ‘never before has the work of the nineteenth century been so accessible and in a form that so closely resembles the printed page’.9

A major addition to the updated ncse bibliography is therefore a section for websites and online archives. A number of these websites are subscription-based, such as the British Newspaper Archive, which was launched in 2012 by the British Library and Findmypast Newspaper Archive with the aim of providing access to a digitized archive of British newspapers (the website can, however, be freely accessed in the British Library). As of October 2018, it has digitized over 27,000,000 pages dating from the 1700s to the present day. Also subscription-based are Gale Cengage, which has recently added to its collections the Illustrated London News Historical Archive, 1842–2003 (2010–), and the Punch Historical Archive (2014–); ProQuest, which now includes the collections American Periodicals from the Center for Research Libraries (2009–) and British Periodicals Collections I and II (2010–); and JSTOR, which contains the 19th Century British Pamphlets collection (2009–). However, a number of other, immensely valuable resources are open access, many of them overseen by various university institutions. ncse is one such resource, providing open access to six nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers: Monthly Repository (1806–1837) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832–1833); Northern Star (1838–1852); Leader (1850–1860); English Woman’s Journal (1858–1864); Tomahawk (1867–1870); and Publishers’ Circular (1880–1890). Like ncse, the Yellow Nineties Online, originally edited by Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, and now by the latter, is to be updated this autumn. It has been freely available to scholars since 2011, and provides completed editions of the Yellow Book (1894–1897) and the Pagan Review (1892), with the Evergreen (1895–1897) and the Pageant (1896–1897) available to read and download only. The update features fully searchable editions of the Evergreen and the Pageant, and, over the next three years, editions of the Savoy (1896; forthcoming in 2019), the Dial (1889–1897; forthcoming in 2020), and the Green Sheaf (1903–1904; forthcoming in 2021). Dickens Journals Online has, since 2012, made freely available a complete online edition of Charles Dickens’s weekly magazines, Household Words and All the Year Round. An innovative website, DJO offers simultaneous facsimile and transcript screens, and audio access. Nineteenth-Century Business, Labour, Temperance and Trade Periodicals (BLT19), established in 2016 and led by Andrew King at the University of Greenwich, is an open-access website that has allowed researchers to engage with lesser-known trade periodicals, thereby expanding the study of nineteenth-century periodicals ‘beyond the high-status literary reviews; publications associated with famous literary figures, such as Dickens; and well-known “brands” such as Punch and the Strand Magazine'.10 The website includes partial runs of the British Workman (1855–1858, and 1861–1864), the Stationary Trade Review (1887), and, more recently, the Navy and Army Illustrated (1898–1900), and provides a number of secondary resources for teachers and students.

A number of online, foreign-language databases have also been added to the websites section, mainly because digitization projects by national libraries tend, on the whole, to only contain newspapers and periodicals in the language of the country in which the library is based. Thus, the bibliography lists Delpher, the website run by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (the Dutch national library) in partnership with various university libraries, which provides open access to millions of digitized texts from Dutch newspapers, books, and magazines; Gallica, the website run by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, which provides open access to French periodicals and newspapers; and Hemeroteca Digital, the open-access website of the Biblioteca Nacional de España, for Spanish printed material. An exception to this is Europeana, a platform that has aggregated historical newspapers and periodicals from collections across Europe, and converted many of them to full text. Many other foreign websites are listed, although some have limited access.

As a result of the huge number of digitized resources available to scholars of nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers, there are a number of new online projects that aim to assist research by identifying patterns and trends, or suggesting modes of analysis. These websites have been added to the bibliography alongside the digital archives. In addition to older websites such as SciPer (Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical, 2005–), the Periodical Poetry Index (2012–) is a research database of ‘citations to English-language poetry published in nineteenth-century periodicals, including texts by nineteenth-century British and American poets, poets from earlier periods, and poems in English translation’.11 The database draws on three nineteenth-century periodicals: Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, the Cornhill Magazine, and Macmillan’s Magazine. Mapping Texts, a joint project between Stanford University and the University of North Texas, was set up in 2011 to allow scholars to explore visualizations of language patterns in Texan newspapers from the 1820s to the early 2000s.12 Scissors and Paste (2016–), a website run by Melodee Beals at Loughborough University, is a collection of manual transcriptions from British newspapers (1789–1850), alongside originals from colonial and American newspapers. It also contains the ‘Scissors-and-Paste-o-Meter’, which allows the user to view potential reprints and reuses of information across digital newspaper databases including the British Library Newspaper Collection (JISC1, 1800–1900), the Times Digital Archive (1800–1900), the London Gazette (1800–1837) and the National Library of Australia’s Trove (1800–1837).13 Other websites have been listed that provide a platform for showcasing the research carried out by historical newspaper experts. The Viral Texts website (2017–) presents data, visualizations, interactive exhibits, and both computational and literary publications drawn from the Viral Texts project, led by Ryan Cordell and David Smith, which seeks to develop theoretical models that will help scholars better understand ‘what qualities — both textual and thematic — helped particular news stories, short fiction, and poetry “go viral” in nineteenth-century newspapers and magazines’.14 The website for the project Oceanic Exchanges: Tracing Global Information Networks in Historical Newspaper Repositories, 1840–1914 (2017–), also led by Ryan Cordell, presents work carried out by a consortium of cultural historians, who are linking research across large-scale digital newspaper collections to examine how patterns of information traversed national and linguistic boundaries in the nineteenth century.15

Another shift worthy of mention over the last ten years is the proliferation of texts on the study of illustration in nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers. If, as Paul Goldman and David Skilton have argued, illustration studies has ‘only become a serious scholarly discipline in its own right in the twenty-first century’, then the last ten years have seen a burgeoning increase in these studies.16 While illustration has often been neglected in the past, many recent books demonstrate that these paratextual elements are crucial for a proper understanding of Victorian periodicals and journalism. Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor’s edited volume The Lure of Illustration in the Nineteenth Century (2009) gives an excellent overview of Victorian graphic journalism, examining illustration in different periodicals and serials in order to ‘examine discursively the trajectory of illustrated journalism across the century, rather than within a single period or title’.17 Simon Cooke’s Illustrated Periodicals of the 1860s (2010) explores the professional relationships — between artists, publishers, authors, and others — that produced 1860s illustrations. Reading Victorian Illustration, 1855–1875: Spoils of the Lumber Room (2012), edited by Goldman and Cooke, is an ambitious text that addresses the relationship between word and image, principally in the ‘golden age’ of illustration in the 1860s, and often in Victorian periodicals. Brian Maidment’s Comedy, Caricature, and the Social Order, 1820–50 (2013) examines the comic images of Regency and early Victorian print culture. More recently, Julia Thomas’s Nineteenth-Century Illustration and the Digital (2017) considers a range of nineteenth-century primary materials and twenty-first century digital archives to explore the intersection between the digital and historical illustrations.

To add to these, a number of websites have emerged that aid scholarly research in illustration studies: these have been listed in the websites section of the bibliography. The Database of Mid-Victorian Illustration, established in 2007 at Cardiff University and updated in 2011, contains records and images of 868 illustrations published in or around 1862. The Illustration Archive, also run by Cardiff University, was launched in 2015 on the AHRC-funded ‘Lost Visions’ project, and aims to make more eighteenth- and nineteenth-century illustrations available to the public, in a searchable form. Meanwhile, the Illustrated Image Analytics project (2016–), run by Paul Fyfe and Qian Ge from North Carolina State University, is currently developing techniques in computer vision and image processing to analyse nineteenth-century illustrations using three nineteenth-century periodicals: the Graphic, the Illustrated Police News, and the Penny Illustrated Paper. This project suggests ‘how digital humanities research on large historical data sets might move beyond text to study visual materials’, and its analyses are presented on its website.18

The process of compiling the NCSE bibliography has, almost inevitably, posed some important bibliographic questions. To what extent should it be annotated? How much information is too much? Perhaps most important was the question of how to approach chapters in edited books. In cases where only some parts of the volume were — in the strictest sense — relevant, I have written ‘see particularly’, followed by a list of the most pertinent chapters. In cases where the whole volume was relevant, it was impractical to list every chapter in the book, because it would have made the bibliography unwieldy. On the other hand, listing only some chapters in such volumes might imply that others were irrelevant. This applied, for example, to The Routledge Handbook to Nineteenth-Century British Periodicals and Newspapers. Clearly, everything in this wonderful volume is immensely useful for scholars of nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers, but breaking it down into individual chapters would be tantamount to transcribing its contents page. And although the NCSE bibliography is published only online, and is therefore not constrained by page numbers in the way that printed bibliographies are, it is a question of manageability for the user. As such, a number of chapters contained within edited volumes have not been listed

In a similar vein, the section for journal articles — a new section in the bibliography — is restricted in scope. The number of articles written on the subject of nineteenth-century periodicals is enormous, and in journals such as the Victorian Periodicals Review, everything is clearly relevant. For this section, therefore, I have attempted to manage the scope by considering the recency of the article, the extent to which nineteenth-century periodicals or journalism is its principle research topic, its potential for theoretical application, and, of course, its originality. Still, even with these criteria in place, a number of articles will have slipped through the net.

I would like to thank Laurel Brake, James Mussell, Mark W. Tuner, and Ana Parejo Vadillo for their guidance in compiling this bibliography. Special thanks must go in particular to Martin Eve, for his invaluable advice regarding texts on the digital humanities, and to Andrew King, without whose generous help many of the texts and websites would not have been listed.


1 Marianne Van Remoortel, Kristin Ewins, Maaike Koffeman, and Matthew Philpotts, ‘Joining Forces: European Periodical Studies as a New Research Field’, Journal for European Periodical Studies, vol. 1, no. 1 (Summer 2016), pp. 1–3 (p. 2) [back].

2 ‘Focus and Scope’, Journal of European Periodical Studies website, [accessed 18 September 2018] [back].

3 Special Issue: ‘W. T. Stead: Newspaper Revolutionary’, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century , vol. 16 (2013), [accessed 25 September 2018]. [back].

4 Patrick Leary, ‘Response: Search and Serendipity’, Special Issue: ‘Digital Pedagogies’, Victorian Periodicals Review, vol. 48, no. 2 (Summer 2015), pp. 267–73 (p. 272). See also: Patrick Leary, 'Googling the Victorians', Journal of Victorian Culture, vol. 10, no. 1 (January 2005), pp. 72–86 (p. 74); Paul Fyfe, ‘Technologies of Serendipity’, Special Issue: ‘Digital Pedagogies’, Victorian Periodicals Review, vol. 48, no. 2 (Summer 2015), pp. 261–66. [back].

5 James Mussell, The Nineteenth-Century Press in the Digital Age (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), p. 1. [back].

6 Linda K. Hughes, ‘SIDEWAYS!: Navigating the Material(ity) of Print Culture’, Victorian Periodicals Review, vol. 47, no. 1 (Spring 2014), pp. 1–30 (p. 20, and p. 21). [back].

7 Paul Fyfe, ‘An Archaeology of Victorian Newspapers’, Victorian Periodicals Review, vol. 49, no. 4 (Winter 2016), pp. 546–77 (p. 546). [back].

8 See, for example: Patrick Leary, 'Googling the Victorians', Journal of Victorian Culture, vol. 10, no. 1 (January 2005), pp. 72–86; Laurel Brake, ‘Tacking: Nineteenth-Century Print Culture and its Readers’, Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, vol. 55 (August 2009), p. none. [back].

9 Mussell, The Nineteenth-Century Press in the Digital Age, p. 1. [back].

10 ‘About BLT19’, BLT19," [accessed 23 September 2018]. [back].

11 The Periodical Poetry Index: A Research Database of Poetry in Nineteenth-Century Periodicals, [accessed 24 September 2018]. [back].

12 Mapping Texts, [accessed 24 September 2018]. [back].

13 ‘About’, Scissors and Paste: A Collection of Newspaper Transcriptions and Connections, [accessed 24 September 2018]. [back].

14 The Viral Texts Project: Mapping Networks of Reprinting in 19th-Century Newspapers and Magazines, [accessed 24 September 2018]. [back].

15 Oceanic Exchanges: Tracing Global Information Networks in Historical Newspaper Repositories, 1840–1914, [accessed 24 September 2018]. [back].

16 Paul Goldman and David Skilton, ‘Trollope and Illustration’, in The Routledge Research Companion to Anthony Trollope, ed. by Deborah Denenholz Morse, Margaret Markwick, and Mark W. Turner (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017), pp. 213–38 (p. 213). [back].

17 Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor, ‘Introduction: The Lure of Illustration’, in The Lure of Illustration in the Nineteenth Century: Picture and Press, ed. by Laurel Brake and Marysa Demoor (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), pp. 1–13 (p. 4). [back].

18 ‘Illustrated Image Analytics’, Nineteenth-Century Newspaper Analytics, [accessed 24 September 2018]. [back].