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Findmypast makes over one million newspaper pages free to view

Findmypast has announced free access to millions of 18th and 19th century British newspapers

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Over one million British newspaper pages are now available to view for free on Findmypast and the British Newspaper Archive (BNA).

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Since 2011, Findmypast has had a partnership with the British Library.

Thanks to the partnership, 42 million old newspaper pages from Britain, Ireland and the former British Empire have been digitised on the BNA, which is also available to Findmypast Pro subscribers.

To celebrate the renewal of the partnership in May, Findmypast and the BNA are making 158 newspapers dating from 1720 to 1880 free to view without a subscription.

The newspapers selected were digitised as part of four special British Library projects: 19th Century Newspapers, Heritage Made Digital, the Endangered Archives Project and Living with Machines, an ongoing project jointly led by the Library and the Alan Turing Institute to digitise UK regional newspapers as part of a major study of the British industrial age and using artificial intelligence tools in history research.

Highlights of the collection include Cobbett’s Weekly Political Register (1803-1836), established by the famous political radical William Cobbett; Illustrated Sporting News and Theatrical and Musical Review (1862-1870), a lavishly illustrated newspaper covering sport and theatrical events; Lady’s Newspaper and Pictorial Times (1847-1863), one of the earliest newspapers produced for a female audience; the British Miner and General Newsman (1862-1867), a journal devoted to working miners; and the Royal Gazette of Jamaica (1779-1840), a Jamaican newspaper notorious for its slavery advertisements.

Findmypast said that it would add 2.7 million more free pages over the next four years.

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Rosemary Collins is the staff writer of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine