THE BRITISH LIBRARY

The Newsroom blog

16 posts categorized "Archives"

25 April 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 15

Add comment Comments (0)

Welcome to the latest edition of the St Pancras Intelligencer, our weekly round-up of news about news - stories about news production, publications, apps, digitised resources, events and what is happening with the newspaper collection (and other news collections) at the British Library. 

Upshot

Graphic accompanying The Upshot's post 'Who will win the Senate? from its first issue

Here comes The Upshot, the new explanatory journalism effort from the New York Times: Exploratory journalism is the great craze among America's chattering classes, and this week the New York Times produced its rival to Vox and FiveThirtyEight. Mathew Ingram at Gigaom investigates.

The Upshot vs. Vox vs. FiveThirtyEight: A hands-on review of explanatory journalism: And from the source hand and the same source, a handy guide to the exploratory journalism phenomenon.

BuzzFeed: Cute cats and hard news? Ian Burrell at The Independent looks at Buzzfeed's ambitions to become a serious news providers (while still having a space in its New York offices called the NoNoNoNo Cat Room).

8 Digital Tools Every Journalist Should Try: A fascinating selection from Eric Newton of the Knight Foundation, including Creativist, Videolicious and Wickr.

FT favours one rule for itself, and another for everyone else, when it comes to press regulation: The Financial Times has decided to regulate itself rather than join the new Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). Press Gazette asks why.

Ukrainian newspaper office burned down after threats: It has been a sorry week for respecting the rights of journalists and the press. The Newsroom of Ukraine's Provintsiya was burned down with Molotov cocktails, Pakistani news anchor Hamid Mir was shot and wounded, the trial in Egypt of the three al-Jazeera journalists continues, and American journalist Simon Ostrovsky from Vice was taken by militia in Eastern Ukraine. Happily he has now been released, as have been the four French journalists held captive in Syria for nearly a year.

Risk and Reporting: The Dangers of Freelance Journalism in Syria: Freelance journalist JosĂ© Gonzalez provides a useful overview of the operations of freelancers in Syria: the risks, the questions and the imperatives.

Happybardday

Happy Bard Day: Among the many newspaper tributes to William Shakespeare on his 450th, none matched  The Sun for wit, or surprise factor, with a classic spread containing potted summaries of all of the plays and spoof front pages: " "Massacre at the palace: Claudius killed, Queen poisoned. Hamlet and Laertes dead too ... Alas poor Yorick - skull found."

Four out of ten Britons think it was right to give Guardian a Pulitzer: Some might query whether four out of ten Britons have actually heard of the Pulitzer prize (or Edward Snowden for that matter), but a YouGov poll asked this question:

It was recently announced that The Guardian and US newspaper The Washington Post would receive the Pulitzer Prize, the biggest prize in US journalism, for their coverage of the NSA surveillance programmes as revealed by ex-CIA contractor Edward Snowden. Do you think it is right or wrong for the prize to be given to papers that publish stories like this?

and got these results: Right: 37 per cent; Wrong: 22 per cent; Don’t know: 41 per cent.

Pathé goes to YouTube: There has been much rejoicing at the news that the British Pathé newsreel archive has been made available on YouTube. The Newsroom blog is pleased too, but asks some questions about how useful it is to historians in this form.

Blendle: Dutch news platform offers money-back guarantee: Not a week seems to go by without a new form of payment for online news being tried. Dutch government-funded news site Blendle asks you to pay for stories, giving you your money back if you are not completely satisfied.

How is user-generated content used in TV news?: A Tow Center report examines the ways television news organisations and online media companies employ user-generated content and finds much inconcistency of crediting, and use.

 

04 April 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 12

Add comment Comments (0)

Welcome to the latest edition of the St Pancras Intelligencer, our weekly round-up of news about news - stories about news production, publications, apps, digitised resources, events and what is happening with the newspaper collection (and other news collections) at the British Library.  

Bernardshaw

From The Poke via @jameshoggarth

45 local news stories that rocked the world: It started with Patrick Smith at Buzzfeed - now headlines from UK regional newspapers are fast becoming an Internet cult. The Poke collect 45 that show just why we love local newspapers so.

Against beautiful journalism: Thought-provoking article from Felix Salmon at the Reuter blog, who argues against the over-designed nature of some (mostly American) news sites. "Today, when you read a story at the New Republic, or Medium, or any of a thousand other sites, it looks great; every story looks great. Even something as simple as a competition announcement comes with a full-page header and whiz-bang scrollkit graphics. The result is a cognitive disconnect..."

How 3 publishers are innovating with online video: Journalism.co.uk looks at how Huffington Post, the Washington Post and BuzzFeed are taking different approaches to using video, as discussed at the FT Digital Media conference.

Harry Chapman Pincher: Perhaps the best-named journalist ever, certainly one of the most famous living British journalists, Chapman Pincher has turned 100 years old and is still writing. Nick Higham at BBC News profiles the man who became legendary for his espionage scoops.

Safeguarding the “first rough draft of history”: How pleasant to have a history of newspapers (with thank yous to the British Library for its newspaper preservation work from Sylvia Morris at the excellent Shakespeare Blog.

In praise of the almost-journalists: A fine piece by Dan Gillmor at Slate on the distinctive contribution to online news made by advocacy organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Cato Institute.

News Corp boss brands Washington Post journalists 'high priests': Not such good times for journalists of the old school. The Guardian reports how News Corp's Chief Executive Robert Thomson feels that the Washington Post's journalists have failed to embrace the transition to digital.

Apple Adds Talk Radio And News To iTunes Radio Starting With NPR: iTunes Radio gets its first non-music offering with this team up with NPR (National Public Radio), Techcrunch reports.

Journalists increasingly under fire from hackers, Google researchers show: ArsTechnica reports that news organisations are increasingly being targeted by state-sponsored hackers.

The Evolution of Automated Breaking News Stories: Is this the future of news? Technology Review reports on how a Google engineer has developed an algorithm, Wikipedia Live Monitor, that spots breaking news stories on the Web and illustrates them with pictures. Now it is tweeting them.

Debugging the backlash to data journalism: Data journalism has been all the rage, so inevitably there has been a backlash. Alexander Howard at Tow Center provides a good overview of the phenomenon, its strengths and its limitations.

Taming the news beast: The Newsroom blog goes to an International Society for Knowledge Orgaization event on news archives and news metadata, and comes back thoughtful.

London Live – capital's first dedicated TV channel – takes to the air: The Evening Standard-backed TV channel went live on March 31st. Meanwhile, Jim Waterson at BuzzFeed provides an entertaining history of the last time someone tried to launch a TV station called London Live.

The Guardian crowned newspaper of the year at Press Awards for government surveillance reports: Press Gazette names all the winners at the Press Awards. Meanwhile, former Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald has won the University of Georgia's McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage.

German officials ban journalist from naming his son #Wikileaks. No comment.

26 February 2014

10 great online newsreel archives

Add comment Comments (0)

Last week we published a list of 10 great online newspaper archives. Working our way through the different news media, here's a listing of 10 of the best newsreel sources to be found online, newsreels being the news medium shown in cinemas worldwide from the early 1900s to the 1970s (and beyond in some countries). Newsreels don't always receive the attention they deserve from historians - they were popular, powerful, and had a huge influence on people's perceptions of the world. Their archives are often aimed at the broadcast market rather than the general public or academic audiences, but there is plenty of good material for anyone to find if you know where to look.

 

An example of a complete issue for Gaumont-British News, issue 197, 18 November 1935 (film from ITN Source via JISC Media Hub)

Archivio Storico

The online archive of the Italian stated-owned Luce company contains seventy years of newsreels, from the late 1920s onwards. The site is in Italian, but is easy enough to negotiate, and there is plenty of material there from around the world, as well as naturally enough having excellent coverage of Italian life and politics (including the period when Luce was the propaganda tool of Mussolini's fascist regime.

British Movietone News

British Movietone News was one of the most familiar and influential of British newsreels. It was the first sound newsreel in Britain, and ran 1929-1979. Its entire run has been digitised and made freely available (to use the site requires registration first), though its primary purpose is commercial sales. The site isn't nearly as well known as British Pathé, but is just as important, with so many important and just as many incidental and quirky news stories from five decades of British life. There are good catalogue descriptions, with low and high resolution videos for viewing.

British Pathé

British Pathé is the dominant force for online newsreels. The Pathé Gazette (later Pathé News) newsreel ran in Britain between 1910-1970. Most of its twice-weekly issues have survived and have been digitised and made available online - some 3,500 hours, or 90,000 individual items. Now run by an independent business with no connection to the original Pathé, the site provies high resolution copies for footage sales and low resolution freely viewable copies for the general public. There are some idiosyncratic catalogue descriptions, thousands of stills taken from the newsreels, and useful thematic collections such as World War One. It is easy to use, engrossing to browse, and provides a wonderful panorama of much of twentieth-century life, in Britain and beyond.

Fox Movietone News: the War Years, 1942 – 1944

The survival rate for American newsreels is not as good as it is in some other coutnries, and research tools such as databases or digitised collections are disappointingly few. An important resource is the Fox Movietone collection held by the University of South Carolina.  200 Fox Movietone News issues for the 1942-44 period can be viewed online, together with digitised newsreel cameramen's dope sheets (records of what they shot during an assignment) and other documentation. The USC's main digital video repository Moving Image Research Collections has further newsreel material available, including stories from the the silent Fox News (1919-1930) . 

Gaumont Pathe Archives

For a century the French Gaumont and PathĂ© companies (both established  in the 1890s) were the greatest rivals, and it still feels extraordinary that the two should have finally combined (in 2003) to create this huge newsreel archive (which also includes films of the French Éclair Journal). Searching the site is free, and the range of content is stupendous, representing 14,000 hours of historic news film. Unfortunately viewing of the clips themselves is restricted to "broadcasting professionals" i.e. those who have signed up to the site and who have proved to them that they are likely to buy footage from them. There is English language as well as French background text, and even if the clips can;t be viewed by most it's still an amazing resource to browse.

Imperial War Museum

The IWM holds substantial collections of film relating to the First and Second World Wars, among which are British propaganda and service newsreels, such as the War Office Official Topical Budget for 1917-18) and War Pictorial News, Warwork News, The Gen and the German-language Welt im Film for the Second World War and after. Only a small number of the records have playable copies, and searching is easier by subject than it is by series, but the catalogue descriptions are detailed and precise.

ITN Source

ITN is the largest moving image archive in the UK after the BBC, and has much more than just the television news programmes made for ITV and Channel 4. Through its management of the Reuters archive, it has the libraries of the Gaumont, Paramount and Universal newsreels, as they were issued in Britain.  There is newsreel (and pre-newsreel) material here from the 1890s onwards (use the Advanced Search option and tick the Reuters box, though this brings up much non-newsreel maerial as well), with tens of thousands of clips, plus many handy compilations. As with many other newsreel sites, ITN Source is aimed at the commercial footage market, but the site is hugely valuable to the general and academic researcher.

JISC Media Hub

Behind the ugly name is a substantial collection of video, audio and image material licensed for use by UK higher education. Among this material is what was formerly known as Newsfilm Online, a specially-selected collection of 3,000 hours of ITN Source newsreels and television news, including Gaumont and Paramount newsreels, which can be downloaded and re-used by students in licensed HE institutions. For the rest of us, it is still possible search and browse the archive, if not to play the videos.

News on Screen

This is the place to to discover British newsreels. It is a database of nearly every newsreels and news magazine issued in Britain between 1910 and 1983, and is managed by the British Universities Film & Video Council. The database is more accurate when it comes to issue dates and issue numbers than is sometimes the case with the newsreel libraries themselves, and as well as these records there are 80,000 digitised production documents (including scripts) and links through to playable copies at British Pathé, Movietone and (for HE users) JISC Media Online. There is also much background history on the newsreels, including biographies, essays and oral history recordings.

Wochenschau-Archiv

This is an archive of the German Deutsche Wocheschau newsreel. Over 6,000 stories have been made available to date, with additional material going back to 1895 and up to 1990. There is English language as well as German text, but unfortunately little informastion is given on the newsreels and the image quality is very low (and requires Windows Media Player).  It is great that such important newsreel content has been made available in this way, but the site could and should be so much better than it is.

Please note that the British Library does not have any cinema newsreels in its collections.

19 February 2014

10 great online newspaper archives

Add comment Comments (2)

The sheer number of digitised newspaper resources out there is astonishing. In a period of not much more than ten years ago when the first newspaper digitisation project got underway, there are now hundreds of millions of pages accessible online. Here's a guide to ten of the best of them (but not the ten 'best' of course), first in a series of 'top ten' guides to news research sources we'll be publishing over the next few weeks.

Ukpressonline

British Newspaper Archive (ÂŁ)

The BNA is a partnership between the British Library and DC Thomson Family History to publish 40 million pages from British newspapers over a ten year period (deadline 2020). Built upon an earlier newspaper digitisation project between the Library and JISC, there are currently just under 7.5 million pages available from around 250 British newspaper titles, dating from 1710 to 1954. The focus is on regionals as opposed to nationals, and titles which have not been digitised and made commercially available elsewhere. So you won't find The Times or the Daily Mirror, but you will find the West Kent Guardian, the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, the Bristol Mercury and the Dundee Courier. 19th century nationals represented include The Graphic and the Morning Post. It's a subscription site, with exemplary searching and filtering tools and helpful guides. 

Chronicling America

This is a newspaper digitisation programme sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program. It covers newspapers published 1860-1922 for the following states: Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. Papers available include The San Francisco CallThe New York SunThe Washington TimesThe Colored American, and The New York Evening Times. Currently there are some 7.2 million pages from 1,270 titles.

Gallica

Gallica is the digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Established in 1997, today it contains nearly 3 million digital documents - books, manuscripts, maps, images, sound recordings and newspapers. The library has 1.3 million newspaper and periodical pages to date, including Le Figaro and L’HumanitĂ©, with new content being aded all the time. The content is all French, of course (but there are English-language searching tools), and is a mixture of free and paid-for content.  You can search by title, author, text, date, language, broad subject, document type and access type (i.e. free versus paid-for content), and there are useful filtering tools.

NewspaperARCHIVE (ÂŁ)

The American site NewspaperARCHIVE calls itself the world's largest newspaper archive, and in online terms that may be the case. It boasts over 130 million pages (newspaper and periodicals) dating from 1607 to the present day, with papers from all American states and eleven other countries, including the UK (some 800 titles). It claims to be adding 80,000 images per day, or 2.5 million per month, such is the relentless demand from the geneaology market, to which the site is strongly directed. There are various subscription offers available, and you can have a 3-day trial of the full database for $1.95.

Newspapers SG

A plain but helpful online resource of digitised historic newspapers from Singapore and Malaya. The site allows you to search the National Library of Singapore's digital archive of papers published between 1831 and 2009 and includes The Straits Times 1845-1989. You can also find information about the National Library of Singapore’s microfilmed newspapers. All images are watermarked and the image and OCR quality are variable, but none of it is illegible. The advanced search option allows you to narrow down researches by date, newspaper (there are 26 on offer ranging 1836-2006) and content type (article, advertisement, letters etc.). The newspaper titles are in English, Chinese or Malay. Only the historical titles can be viewed online, but do note that the British Library holds most of the digitised titles on microfilm for access in our reading room.

Nineteenth Century Serials Edition (ncse)

King's College's the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition is a free, online edition of six nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers. It includes full runs of the first five titles, and a decade only of the Publishers' Circular. Titles are represented as completely as possible, including multiple editions, advertisements, wrappers, and supplements where these could be found. Titles are:
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). All six journals are segmented to article level, and can be downloaded freely.

Papers Past

This excellent site from the National Library of New Zealand contains over  three million freely-available pages from 83 digitised New Zealand newspapers and periodicals covering the period 1839 to 1945. The search and presentation tools are a model of their kind. Australian and New Zealand newspapers from this period carried a great deal of British news, so this and the Trove site below are great resources for searching British subjects as well as Australasian.

Trove

Trove is a discovery tool for information on Australia and Australians. It is the digital library par excellence. The newspaper section of the site presents the results of the on-going Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program: to date there are 12.3 million pages covering a range of titles from every state and territory, from the earliest newspaper published in Australia in 1803 through to the mid 1950s. The remainder of Trove covers books, journals, pictures, photographs, films, music, sound, manuscripts, maps and archived websites, its cross-searching making it the model example of a research resource that does not discriminate between the different media.

UKpressonline (ÂŁ)

This commercial site provides text searchable access to full page facsimiles of over 2 million pages from some of the UK’s biggest selling popular newspapers of the 20th and 21st centuries. The archive is still being built up but already complete are the Daily Mirror 1903 to date, Sunday Express May 2000 to date, the Daily Star May 2000 to date, the Star Sunday September 2002 to date and The Daily Express 1900 to date. It is easy to use, with search bringing up every relevant page as a thumbnail. Searching is free (one you register);  if you subscribe you can view, download and print pages at full size.

Welsh Newspapers Online

Welsh Newspapers Online is a free online resource from the National Library of Wales which currently lets you search and access over 630,000 pages or 6.8 million articles from nearly 100 newspaper publications from years 1804 to 1919. It is easy to use, with snippets of text appearing as search results, linking to the article image and the OCR text alongside it, a particularly welcome feature as it lets the researcher gain a clearer picture of the accuracy of their searches.

We provide a list of all the many full text, word-searchable electronic newspaper resources (free and commercial) to which we provide onsite access in the British Library reading rooms, with descriptions of each of the services. They include all of the above (with the exception of NewspaperARCHIVE).

14 February 2014

St Pancras Intelligencer no. 5

Add comment Comments (0)

Welcome to the latest edition of the St Pancras Intelligencer, our weekly round-up of news about news - stories about news production, publications, apps, digitised resources, events and what is happening with the newspaper collection (and other news collections) at the British Library. 

Liberation

A note to the staff of Libération in France: Perhaps the most eye-catching news about news story of the week was the front page of French left-wing journal Libération, which was hijacked by staff protesting at the paper's shareholder group's plans to turn it into a social and cultural hub. Their call to be left alone to be a newspaper and to do journalism "couldn't be more wrong", according to Mathew Ingram.

17 Things That Would Only Get Reported In British Local Newspapers: Patrick Smith of Buzzfeed's regular round-ups of British local newspaper stories are always an irresistible treat. "Police launch appeal after mystery tea pot found near Cambridge ..."

News you can lose: Richard Sambrook on US cable TV news networks' strategy of diversifying programming to keep hold of shrinking audiences. " More and more, news channels will depend on dinosaurs and killer whales."

Georgia Henry obituary: The Guardian's deputy editor and creator of its Comment is Free section has been much mourned.

Iraqi newspaper bombed after Ayatollah caricature: Index on Censorship reports on the struggle to survive of the Al-Sabah Al-Jadeed independent newspaper.

You can see right through News Corp's transparency: Peter Preston analyses Mike Darcey of New UK's defence of pay walls and argues that one model does not fit all.

 

Europeana Newspapers: The portal for digitised European newspapers has produced a sassy promo video which shows just how inventive you can be in promoting newspaper archives for research.

Welsh Newspapers Online – 27 new publications: It's been a good week for newspaper archives. The National Library of Wales' Welsh Newspapers Online has added 27 new publications and now has over 630,000 pages from pre-1919 newspapers freely available.

125,000 extra pages now searchable on the British Newspaper Archive: In what has been a busy month for the BNA (which moved from Colindale to Boston Spa in January) they managed to add an extra 125,000 British Library newspaper pages to their online archive.

Periodicals return: The periodicals collection held at the (now closed) Colindale newspaper library was embargoed in June. From Monday February 17th it becomes available once more at the British Library's St Pancras site.

What is Google Newsstand and how can publishers make the most of it?: Press Gazette's Dominic Ponsford analyses Google's mobile app for news.

Video journalism: Former newsreel cameraman Terence Gallacher runs an excellent blog on the history of his profession. Here he asks whether camera operators have become journalists or the journalists become camera operators.

Why it matters that LBC is going national: LBC, the talk news radio station for London, went national on February 11th. Gillian Reynolds looks at why it's an important move.

08 January 2014

The daily war

Add comment Comments (0)

January 2014 naturally sees the start of many First World War centenary commemorations, even if the war itself did not begin until 28 July 1914. Newspaper sources are going to be greatly value by researchers, programme makers, project organisers and the general public during the 2014-2018 period, as people seek out the authentic experience of what it was like to live through such a cataclysmic, global event.

Dailytelegraph1jan1914

The Daily Telegraph for 1 January 1914, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ww1-archive

Perhaps first out of the blocks as far as newspaper resources are concerned is the Telegraph's very welcome initiative to make the entirety of its 1914-18 archive freely available online, issued day-by-day from 1 January 1914/2014 to 31 December 1918/2018 in PDF format. The paper is presented through a simple, intuitive browser than turns the pages as you browse through, offers a row of thumbnails for quick access, and has the usual zoom, printing and sharing features.

Each issue appears on its centenary, so there will no browsing through the entire archive for an overall picture of the war until the end of 2018. Each issue is downloadable in PDF. There is no OCR or word-searching, which is disappointing, but each issue does come with a summary that points interesting items, with pages references - so, 1 January 1914 gives us the New Year's Honours list (a knighthood for physicist Ernest Rutherford), reports on the return of Paris of the 'Mona Lisa' following its 1911 theft, and tells us that the tango has been banned on Ontario. The leader (page 11) reassures its readership that “Happily, our foreign relations are such as to cause no sort of uneasiness. Our friendships have been kept in sound repair, and there has been a steady improvement in the tone and temper of our intercourse with Germany. Everyone will hope that the New Year may pass without the outbreak of further trouble in the Near East.” Good news with which to start the year, at any rate.

Other newspaper archives and news sources can be expected to follow suit in showing us the daily war, though probably nearer to July. More on these as and when they appear. Meanwhile, the British Newspaper Archive (which makes digitised newspapers from the British Library available on a subscription basis) has 42 British regional newspapers available for the 1914-1918 period, from the Aberdeen Evening Express to the Western Times, all fully word-searchable.

It's important to note that though newspapers were the primary source of news information for the public during the First World War, they were no longer the only news medium. Newsreels were appearing twice-weekly in cinemas to audiences comparable to the reach of any popular newspaper, and gave people a different view of the war, or expectation of what they might view. But that's the subject for another post.