Gale's Telegraph archive spans 145 years

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One of the UK’s best-known newspapers, The Telegraph, has been made available in a new fully-searchable digital archive. The Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2000 is the result of a partnership between Gale, a provider of library resources and part of Cengage Learning, and The Telegraph.

The archive provides huge research opportunities in history, culture, and politics, with more than one million pages of the paper’s back issues, from 1855 to the end of 2000, including the Sunday Telegraph from 1961.

Ben Clissitt, executive editor at Telegraph Media Group, stated: ‘The Telegraph has been essential reading for those looking for quality reporting since 1855, so I’m delighted that the archive is to be made available in digital form for the very first time.’

‘Throughout our history, we’ve prided ourselves on our broad and deep coverage of the day’s news and more besides, be it business, sport or fashion. The digital archive will provide an invaluable resource for researchers wanting to understand more about our country through our agenda-setting journalism.

The Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2000 offers a fascinating glimpse into daily life as it was experienced over the past century and-a-half, providing a balance of compelling human interest stories, alongside incisive analysis of world events.

More than just news

As well as providing researchers with 145 years of comprehensive news reports covering social, cultural and political stories, The Telegraph Historical Archive includes a wealth of content on foreign affairs, initially born out of the paper’s support of former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli over the ‘Eastern Question’.

Among the paper’s unique contributors, researchers will find the articles of the renowned George Augustus Sala, the eccentric and gifted writer who reported on the US Civil War, and Winston Churchill, who contributed a series of war letters from India at the close of the 19th century.

However, The Telegraph did not just play a pivotal role in reporting world affairs over the last century. As many researchers will know, the Telegraph co-sponsored Henry Morton Stanley’s expedition to find Dr David Livingstone in 1871 and carried an interview with Kaiser Wilhelm in 1908 that alienated the British and helped set the tone for the preliminary stages of the First World War. It was also The Telegraph that printed the cryptic crossword puzzle used to recruit Allied code breakers to Bletchley Park during the Second World War.

This new archive gives researchers unprecedented access to The Telegraph, through this fully searchable digital archive. This archive also opens up new possibilities to conduct research using analytical tools in the Gale Primary Sources programme including Term Frequency, Term Clusters and Text and Data Mining.

The ‘term frequency’ helps researchers track central themes and ideas. Researchers can see the frequency of their search term within a content set to begin assessing how individuals, events, and ideas interacted and developed over time. ‘Term cluster’ assists students in developing their research topic by identifying and organising themes that occur frequently. This can be used to reveal hidden relationships between search terms – helping students shape their research and integrate diverse content with relevant information.

‘The Telegraph is one of the most requested newspapers amongst researchers. By digitising the complete archive of the important national institution we are opening up new opportunities for research into history, culture and society’ said Seth Cayley, director of research publishing, Gale International.

Providing a balanced resource for research

The Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2000 further deepens Gale's coverage of the British national newspaper press, and is cross-searchable with other major titles in the Gale Primary Sources programme, supporting research across multiple disciplines including business, arts, and international relations.

Gale's digital archive collections spanning six continents and nine centuries including other newspaper archives including The Times, the Economist, The Independent, and the Daily Mail among others. The Gale Primary Sources programme provides a huge resource of primary information used for research and teaching in the humanities and social sciences.

With pre-1944 Telegraph content commercially available for the first time, students and researchers will have a keener sense of events as they unfolded and were reported by The Telegraph’s journalists across the 19th and 20th centuries.

Cayley stressed that The Telegraph Historical Archive provides not only a standalone resource for research, but it also adds balance to an increasingly diverse portfolio of historical newspapers and other print based resources. While no single publication can provide a complete overview, the combination of resources available from Gale help to build up a comprehensive view of life, politics and world events over the last century.

Cayley said: ‘The Telegraph was a missing piece of the historical archive. The publication of this resource not only helps to provide a more balanced view for researchers, it also helps researchers to develop a contextual understanding of the time, through a combination of in depth analysis and letters pages.’