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Course & Subject Guides

Scholarly Research in Shakespeare Performance History @ Pitt

For Kathleen George's Performance History of Measure for Measure course 2234 THEA 2202

British Newspapers

NOTE:  The British newspapers described on this tab are divided into two different products:  17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers and 19th Century British Library Newspapers.  These are the first two databases listed in the "Databases A-Z" list on the University Library System's (ULS) website.

What are the Burney Collection and British Library Newspapers?

The Burney Collection contains "the newspapers, pamphlets, and books gathered by the Reverend Charles Burney (1757-1817) [and] represent[s] the largest and most comprehensive collection of early English news media. The present digital collection, [which] 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."

Burney 17th and 18th

 To access 17th-18th Century Burney Collection, click on the image above.

"The 19th Century British Library Newspapers collection contains full runs of 48 newspapers specially selected by the British Library to best represent nineteenth century Britain. This new collection includes national and regional newspapers, as well as those from both established country or university towns and the new industrial powerhouses of the manufacturing Midlands, as well as Scotland, Ireland and Wales."

Burney 19th

To access 19th Century British Library Newspapers, click on the image above.

To access either of these databases from off-campus, follow the "Access Our Library Anywhere!" instructions to the left.

Do you have any tips for me?

Librarians always have search tips for databases! These databases are provided by the same company as ECCO, so many of the search tips are the same.  Please refer to the ECCO tab for more information.

So if I feel comfortable with ECCO, I should find many of the same options available to me in these databases?

Yes, for the most part.  However, these are newspapers, so some of the options are a little different.  You'll notice that you can sort your results by date ascending in this database as well.  In the results list, you will be given links that will take you to the article or to the full page on which the article appears.  This distinction will be important when you begin to cite your sources.

Refer to the results list tips and printing/emailing/saving tips on the ECCO tab.

Why don't these databases have cool acronyms like the others?

Sometimes acronyms just don't work out the way we'd like.

Early American Newspapers

Early American Newspapers

To access Early American Newspapers, click on the image above.

What is Early American Newspapers?

"Early American Newspapers features cover-to-cover reproductions of hundreds of historic newspapers, providing more than one million pages as fully text-searchable facsimile images. For students and scholars of early America, this unique collection -- based largely on Clarence Brigham's 'History and Bibliography of American Newspapers, 1690-1820' -- offers an unprecedented look back into the extraordinary history of the United States -- the story of its people, ideals, commerce and everyday life."

Early American Newspapers covers 1690 - 1922.

I just went into Early American Newspapers, and it looks a lot different from the other databases.  How do I search it?

Early American Newspapers is probably one of the most user-friendly databases.  However, it can be a bit confusing, since it seems as if there are so many options and tabs from which to choose!

When you are using this database for the first time, I would recommend typing your word into the search box and hitting enter.  The default for sorting the results is "Chronological order," which is probably what you have been using in the other databases.

I did a search for my word, and it returned hundreds of thousands of results!  What do I do?!?

First, don't panic!  As I said before, this database is user-friendly.

You'll notice that you have several tabs above your results list.  This can really help you to narrow down the results to a manageable amount. 

The first tab is "Dates & Eras."  If you click on this tab, you will see a list of "Eras in American History," which you can use to narrow your results list by time period.  It's possible you will want to check a few eras to sample usage.  To select an era or eras, click on the corresponding checkbox(es) and then click on the "Search" button.

The second tab is "Article Types."  With this tab, you can narrow your results list by article type, such as news, opinion, advertisements, letters, death notices, and cartoons.  Again, it might be useful to sample several different results.

The fouth tab is "Places of Publication," which might be useful if you know that your word has some regional variation in usage.

I'm looking at an article, and I can't figure out how to scroll to see the rest of it?

Yes, I had that problem too.  Around the perimeter of the image window (which contains the image of the article), you will see thin, gray bars with arrows and directional words.  You should use these to scroll up and down or left and right.

On top of the image window, you are also given the option to print or convert the image to PDF format.