Continuing a tradition of comprehensive full-run coverage for popular periodicals that began with American Periodicals Series Online, this resource offers facsimile page images and searchable full text for nearly 500 British periodicals published from the seventeenth century through to the twentieth century.

British Periodicals is available in four separate collections, each of which can be purchased separately.

  • British Periodicals Collection I consists of more than 160 journals that comprise the ProQuest microfilm collection Early British Periodicals, the equivalent of 5,238 printed volumes containing approximately 3.1 million pages. Topics covered include literature, philosophy, history, science, the fine arts, and the social sciences.
  • British Periodicals Collection II consists of more than 300 journals from the ProQuest microfilm collections English Literary Periodicals and British Periodicals in the Creative Arts together with additional titles, amounting to almost 3 million pages. Topics covered include literature, music, art, drama, archaeology, and architecture.
  • British Periodicals Collection III is the long-awaited follow-up to British Periodicals I-II and extends the scope of the series by focusing on the first half of the twentieth century. The titles are from the prestigious stable of illustrated periodicals known as the “Great Eight” in British publishing history. They are considered to be among the foremost popular periodicals of the period and were highly influential in their mix of news/politics, miscellany, art, photography, literature and comedy/satire, while launching the careers of many leading artists/illustrators of the age.
  • British Periodicals Collection IV will build on Collection III by continuing the expansion of the programme into the twentieth century, offering full archival coverage of several of the leading magazines of the period. Titles are: The Field (1853-2005), Tribune (1937-2005), The Highway (1903-1959), War Weekly (1939-1941), Answers to Correspondents (1888-1955), Humorist (1922-1940), Wide World Magazine (1898-1965), The Marvel (1893-1922), Top Spot (1958-1960).

By providing digital access to the key primary source serials from this period, British Periodicals opens up research to a much wider audience. This uniquely powerful multidisciplinary database gives students and researchers a clear pathway to an exhaustive body of content previously unavailable online. All of this material is available in page image format with fully searchable text. Users can filter results by article type and download articles as either PDFs or JPEG page images. Each facsimile page from Collections I-II is available in high-resolution grayscale, providing scholars with an authentic and nuanced record of the printed source. Collection III introduces full color images where color was present in the original print volume.

Institutions with access to ProQuest edition of the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals can instantly cross-search Wellesley indexing with the full text from the British Periodicals interface. Crucially, the addition of Wellesley also makes it possible to search for instances of a word or phrase in a given author's contributions to periodicals even where these originally appeared unsigned or under a pseudonym. Altogether, British Periodicals provides full text to all 43 important Wellesley titles.

In addition, institutions with access to other historical periodical resources from ProQuest such as American Periodicals and Periodicals Archive Online, may search across all of this content simultaneously, querying potentially thousands of historical periodicals with a single search.

The titles were selected by Professor Daniel Fader of the University of Michigan on the basis of their importance and difficulty of access in American libraries, and issues were sourced from over 100 libraries worldwide.

Rarity of source material means that there will be some gaps in the collection.

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