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17th-18th Century Burney Collection of Newspapers is New Online Resource

Explore history through the 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers. Learn about the English Civil War, the Restoration and 18th century political and cultural developments.

According to the publisher, “The newspapers, pamphlets, and books gathered by the Reverend Charles Burney (1757-1817) represent the largest and most comprehensive collection of early English news media. The present digital collection, that helps chart the development of the concept of ‘news’ and ‘newspapers’ and the ‘free press,’ totals almost 1 million pages and contains approximately 1,270 titles. Many of the Burney newspapers are well known, but many pamphlets and broadsides also included have remained largely hidden.”

Joseph Drury, assistant professor of English at Wesleyan University, says “The Burney Collection is an exceptionally rich database of periodicals and newspapers, invaluable to anybody interested in doing research on eighteenth-century English culture. Most of the material from the early part of the century is not available anywhere else, and there is very little overlap with Eighteenth-Century Collections Online, because ECCO for the most part doesn’t include newspapers, journals and periodicals, only printed books. Because what it includes is so ephemeral, the Burney gets you much closer, I think, to everyday cultural life — it gives you immediate responses to political events, theatre reviews, literary squabbles, fads, and fashions and so on.”

Burney, which also includes Acts of Parliament, features newspapers published in London, the British Isles and its colonies.

In addition to English literary and historical scholarship, this new database will be invaluable to political scientists, philosophers and anyone interested in delving into life in the 17th and 18th centuries.

“Newly digitized, all Burney treasures are now fully text-searchable.”



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Last Modified: August 23, 2010

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