• jonathanjokes

‘Jonathan’s Jokes: American Humour in the Late-Victorian Press’

My first academic article will be published in the next issue of Media History. It's all about 'American Humour' columns and their role in shaping transatlantic relations during the late nineteenth century. For those of you who can't wait to read it in print (hello?... is anybody still here?), an advance copy is now available on the journal's website. Unfortunately, a subscription to Media History is required to view it - unless you're mad enough to pay £21 to buy your own copy (in which case send the money directly to me and I'll throw in a signed photograph). It's going to be published as part of a special issue on ephemeral print culture which will include fantastic articles by Jim Mussell, Laurel Brake, Adrian Bingham, Pam Epstein (author of the brilliant advertisingforlove.com), and Karl Christian Führer. A perfect Christmas gift for the discerning historian-about-town. Abstract: During the final quarter of the nineteenth century, columns of American jokes became a regular feature of numerous British newspapers. The Newcastle Weekly Currant, for example, had a weekly column of ‘Yankee Snacks’; The North Wales Chronicle had ‘American Humour’; the Hampshire Telegraph its ‘Jonathan's Jokes’; and the Northern Weekly Gazette sported a ‘Stars and [...]

By |December 5th, 2011|blog, Journal Articles|1 Comment
  • imgres

The Past Belongs to Brightsolid

On Friday night I had an illuminating Twitter conversation with Will Tattersdill (@faceometer) - a fellow researcher who shares some of my concerns about the new British Library Newspaper Archive. He pointed out an interesting passage in the archive's terms and conditions: What you can use the service for: You can only use the website for your own personal non-commercial use e.g. to research newspaper archives and other archives featured on the website that you are interested in and to purchase goods that we may sell on the website. We are also happy for you to help out other people by telling them about the newspaper archives and other information available on the website and how and where they can be found. However, you must not provide them with copies of any of the newspapers (either an original image of the newspapers or the information on the results page), even if you provide them for free. It's easy to brush this off as a classic example of small-print gobbledegook - the  kind of thing we all mindlessly agree to every time we're forced to update iTunes. But, the more I think about it, the more astonishing this passage seems to be. Are [...]

By |December 4th, 2011|blog, Digitisation|5 Comments
  • bna

Review: The British Newspaper Archive

  [update summer 2014]  I wrote this review of the British Newspaper Archive way back in 2011. At the time, I was rather critical of some of its shortcomings. However, I'm pleased to say that the BNA has subsequently addressed many of the problems I identified back then. Their subscription packages are more reasonable, the usage caps have been lifted, and they’re very relaxed about people sharing the findings of their research. The hit-term highlighting problem has been solved, and new material seems to be appearing more rapidly than it did in the past. In other words, they have fixed almost all of the teething problems that I identified in the original archive. It's not perfect by any means, but I do think the BNA has evolved into a good archive that justifies its subscription fee. I'll be writing a new review shortly.     Christmas arrived early for historians this week. On Tuesday morning, amid a blaze of publicity, the British Library unveiled the new home of its digitised newspaper collection - The  British Newspaper Archive (BNA). Developed in partnership with commercial publisher brightsolid, the BNA provides online access to hundreds of eighteenth, nineteenth and early-twentieth-century newspapers. It’s an ambitious, long-term project [...]

By |December 1st, 2011|blog, Digitisation, Review|12 Comments