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Find Primary Sources
British Library Newspapers (Gale)
Full-text database containing digitized regional and local newspapers published in Britain between the mid-eighteenth and mid-twentieth centuries.
The Guardian and the Observer
Full text of the Manchester Guardian (Manchester) 1821-1955, the Observer (London), 1791-2003, and several other titles.
Full text of the Scotsman/Daily Scotsman (Edinburgh), 1817-1950.
Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals (Gale)
Searchable facsimile resource for the study of British life in the 19th century.
British Periodicals (ProQuest)
Full-text database containing British periodicals from the late seventeenth to the early twentieth century.
Punch Historical Archive, 1841-1992 (Gale)
From 1841 to 1992, Punch was the world's most celebrated magazine of wit and satire. From its early years as a campaigner for social justice to its transformation into national icon, Punch played a central role in the formation of British identity—and how the rest of the world saw the British nation.
Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO)
British Politics and Society (NCCO)
Online archive including materials that enable in-depth examination and analysis of the growing calls for political reform in nineteenth-century Britain that were met with state resistance and marked a crisis of legitimacy for both the government and the reform movements themselves.
Highlights include the papers of several individuals (e.g., Charles James Fox and Sir Robert Peel), Home Office records, and papers related to working-class radicalism and governmental response.
British Theatre, Music, and Literature (NCCO)
Wide range of primary sources related to the arts in the Victorian era, from playbills and scripts to operas and complete scores sourced from the British Library and other renowned institutions. This collection includes many types of sources, including manuscripts, compositions, personal letters, annotated programs, meeting minutes, financial records, and popular literature.
Children's Literature and Childhood (NCCO)
Wide range of primary sources related to the experience of childhood in the long nineteenth century. Included in the archive are books and periodicals for children, primers and other material related to education, pamphlets produced by child welfare groups, documents and photos related to children and crime, newspapers produced by youths, and much more.
London Low Life (Adam Matthew)
London Low Life is a full-text searchable resource, containing colour digital images of rare books, ephemera, maps and other materials relating to 18th, 19th and early 20th century London.
Charles Booth's London
Explore poverty and labour in London between 1886 and 1903 using poverty maps and the original notebooks of Charles Booth, a British social science researcher, comprising over 450 volumes of interviews, questionnaires, observations and statistical information
Collections at McGill
19th-Century Chapbooks at McGill Library
McGill's Rare Books & Special Collections Library has an extensive collection of English-language chapbooks, including more than 400 published in London during the 19th century which have been digitized. Follow the link to see these digitized items; search for titles in the library catalogue to request them in the Rare Books Reading Room.
To learn more about the Chapbook Collection, see the online exhibit.
Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) has extensive holdings in 19th-century British literature including:
- Children's literature (which includes the chapbook collection)
- Hannah More Collection
- Sir Richard Burton Collection
- English Literature Manuscripts
Learn more about these collections and more on the RBSC Literature page.
Political and Regional History
- Redpath Tracts collection consists of over 20,000 tracts and pamphlets divided into nine series illustrating the religious, political, literary, scientific and social history of the British Isles from 1561 to 1900.
Learn more on the RBSC Political and Regional History page.
Learn more about the special collections held at McGill on the Special Collections page, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Find Secondary Sources
Find peer-reviewed articles
Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH)
Provides bibliographic data on historical writing dealing with the British Isles, and with the British Empire and Commonwealth from 55 B.C.E. to the present.
Historical Abstracts (EBSCO)
This database contains references to journal articles, book reviews and some dissertations about the history of all parts of the world from 1450 on, EXCLUDING Canada and the United States. In the search options, select "Peer Reviewed" and enter "Historical Period" (e.g., Start Year: 1800 To End Year: 1900).
An international abstracting and indexing tool for research in the humanities, covering humanities journals, weekly magazines and newspapers published in the UK and other English speaking countries.
Coverage: 1962 - current.