Historical newspapers – taxidermy or burial? Decisions, decisions

Everyone knows how much I love trawling through old newspapers and earlier this week I received an email from Thomas, who runs a company that sells original newspaper gifts.  How did he know?  He offered to send me a couple of newspapers if I would write an article about them and/or link to his website.

Naturally, an unknown man offering to send me gifts in the post made me feel a little uncertain, but I decided to take him up on his offer – the lure of the old papers was just too much for me.  He asked me what titles I would be interested in and I said “one of your oldest Scottish papers, please”.  This morning, the postie delivered this

And inside, wrapped in tissue, were two newspapers

North British Daily Mail and The Glasgow News

I gave them a quick inspection.  There was a copy of the “North British Daily Mail” from Saturday 7th January 1882 and a copy of the “Glasgow News” from Monday March 9th 1885.  Brilliant – old newspapers I can read without cranking a microfilm reader handle until my hand falls off :-)

The first thing I noticed was the size of these broadsheets.  They’re 18″ wide and 24″ long.  In 1882, there must have been a lot of elbowing on the train as the men with bowler hats went off to work, or maybe the train seats were bigger too.

They smelled a bit funny (kind of like old newspapers) and a closer look revealed that they were slightly yellowed – surely not… surely not?  Then the penny dropped that they are the actual ORIGINAL prints, not the reproductions that I had expected.  130 year old newspapers that managed to avoid the fish and chip shop or being made into firelighters.  Amazing.  Needless to say, I have been reading a lot today.

Does your cat need stuffing or a relative need burying?

Are you in need of tricycle training, turkeys or tweeds?

I fancy getting myself a Ladies maid.  That would make me a Lady, wouldn’t it?

I’m glad I took Thomas up on his offer as I’m going to have so much fun with these newspapers.

If you fancy having a look to see if Historic Newspapers have something which might interest you, I have been given a 15% off discount code to share with you, so if something catches your eye, enter the code 15TODAY.  They have newspapers from all over the world, but the bulk of their archives are from the US and the UK.

Jo :-)

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About Jo

Professional Scottish genealogist - this blog is for my own family history and photos
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8 Responses to Historical newspapers – taxidermy or burial? Decisions, decisions

  1. Joan says:

    Enjoyed your post immensely, the archives, not so much. My penchant for purchasing old newspapers far outweighs the 15% discount. Interesting.

    • Jo says:

      Thanks for your comment, Joan. I was very pleased with the two papers they sent me as I probably wouldn’t have bought them online, either. There will be more to blog about from these newspapers :-) Jo

  2. SusanD. says:

    Hi, Jo, I enjoy your writing style and this particularl post was of interest as I too share your love of old newspapers and have been approached by Thomas to write a review. After some exchange of queries about his project,, I am waiting for my chosen newspapers to arrive – so watch this space!

    • Jo says:

      Susan – they will be fascinating, I can’t believe that Thomas sent the originals. They arrived very quickly too, and beautifully packaged, so his company is obviously on the ball. They’re also about half the price of some reproduced “birthday gift” newspapers – my sister bought one for our grandfather about 10 years ago and it cost her nearly £100 for a modern re-print. Thanks for your kind words, and look forward to your newspaper blog(s) shortly after your postie delivers.

  3. Kathy Hart says:

    What a lovely post and treasure. I try to include the newspaper ‘of the day’ as part of a baby welcome gift. You have re-energized me to do this :) Thanks again for the wonderful story!

  4. tony zimnoch says:

    Thanks Jo.An Interesting Resource. I love the whole tactile/sensory thing with old newspapers /books……..Kindle loses as much as it finds.non?

  5. Margel says:

    I love it when I find an ancestor in an old newspaper article, but a few of the want ads have told a story as well. What a wonderful opportunity.
    I wonder what the difference is between a “sewing maid” and “sewing girl”?

  6. Jim says:

    I loved your post. Newspapers are my favorite genealogy resource. You never know what treasure awaits you in newspapers.

    I also see according to Geneabloggers, today is your 2nd year anniversary that you’ve been blogging. Happy Blogiversary.

    Regards, Jim
    Newspaper Genealogy at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets

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