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Primary sources

Contemporaneous periodicals and journals

These resources offer journal and periodical content which records and comments upon events or trends often at the time they were happening. You may also find other relevant sources in our Newspapers guide.

British Periodicals I–IV

This database provides access to the searchable full text of hundreds of periodicals from the late 17th to the early 20th century. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the social sciences, music, art, drama, archaeology and architecture. A subscription resource from ProQuest.

Church Missionary Society periodicals modules I and II

This resource is a database of publications from the evangelical Protestant Church Missionary Society, the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society and the latterly integrated South American Missionary Society. It comprises periodicals documenting missionary work from the 19th to the 21st century, including news, journals and reports offering a unique perspective on global history and cultural encounters. A subscription resource from Adam Matthew Digital.

Colonial Legacies: Empire and Commonwealth Periodicals

A resource offering the backfiles of over 30 periodicals covering the 20th century history of the British Empire, decolonisation, and the history and culture of former colonies, in a mixture of British publications about the empire and titles published in Commonwealth countries. These publications range from the late-19th to the 21st century and present key events in the empire's later phase and its post-independence legacies.

Country Life archive, 1897–2005

Country life offers significant coverage of British fine art, art history, interior design, architecture and rural living from the point of view of the wealthy and priviledged.

Eighteenth Century Journals Portal (Sections I–IV)

This resource brings together rare 18th century periodicals conveying the eclecticism and evolution of the publishing world and all aspects of social, political and literary life between 1685 and 1835. A subscription resource from Adam Matthew Digital.

Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive

A database of the most notable periodicals concerned with the history of music, radio, television and the stage, from 1880 to 2015. Contains the following parts:

  • EIMA1: Music, radio and the stage
  • EIMA2: Cinema, film and television (part 1)
  • EIMA3: Cinema, film and television (part 2)
  • EIMA4: Rock, folk and hip-hop

A ProQuest subscription resource.

GQ Archive (1931–present day)

An archive of the US version of GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly). A ProQuest resource.

Harper’s Bazaar US and UK Archive

Archive of the US (1867 to present) and UK (1930–2015) editions of Harper’s Bazaar. A ProQuest resource.

The Listener Historical Archive, 1929–1991

Originally produced by the BBC, this politically neutral publication was intended to represent the Corporation’s “cultural mission”. Over time, The Listener published contributions from many of Britain’s cultural leading lights (Orwell, G.B. Shaw, Virginia Woolf, Bertrand Russell, amongst many others) and was the launchpad for many successful poets, before closing in 1991.

Men’s Magazine Archive

An archive of 9 men’s magazine titles covering 1845–2015. Titles included are:

  • All Sports Illustrated Weekly
  • Argosy / The Argosy
  • Esquire
  • M : The Civilized Man
  • National Police Gazette
  • Sports Budget.

Periodicals Archive Online

Periodicals Archive Online is a major archive that makes the full text of scholarly periodicals in the arts, humanities and social sciences available electronically. Subject coverage of the full archive database ranges from agriculture to women’s studies, spanning more than two centuries of content including much non-English material. The Library is currently making available collections 1 to 10. A ProQuest resource.

Punch Historical Archive, 1841–1992

A digital archive of the satirical magazine’s run from launch to its first closure in 1992.

Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive, 1902–2019

Founded in 1902 as a free supplement to The Times (of London), the Times Literary Supplement (TLS) became a separate publication in 1914. Although Anglo-centric in its early days, it had developed into a truly international publication by the mid-20th century, with coverage ranging from literature and criticism to history, science, politics, and art. A Gale/Cengage resource.

Women's Magazine Archive Collections 1, 2 and 3

High resolution colour scans of backfiles of leading women's interest consumer magazines. Coverage ranges from the late 19th century to 2005 and titles include Cosmopolitan, Town & Country and Good Housekeeping.

Women’s Wear Daily Archive

Archive of issues, reproduced verbatim including advertisements, from 1910 to six months prior to the present date.