Monday, 30 January 2012

Research: Replica Newspapers

The previous post on research was about using original newspapers and magazines for authentic details on a particular period, when published features and advertisements give a flavour of everyday life and what was happening in a local or national context.

The other option is to look out for replica newspapers - modern facsimile copies of original publications. These are sometimes given as a free supplement in a newspaper, or may be on sale for specific anniversaries. Our local newspaper had wonderful supplements showing copies of original photos and articles about the Blitz. Watch out for special replicas at historic and heritage centres, or museums. Sometimes a supplement will be specially repoduced to commemorate an anniversary or event. I have a very informative Commemorative Souvenir newspaper about Agatha Christie, The Agatha Bygones, which I bought on a holiday to Torquay in 1990, at the Centenary Exhibition in the Museum.

The photograph above shows two of my other finds. The Old Town Reporter was a tourist souvenir from Edinburgh and contains four broadsheet sides full of articles from the Royal Mile over several periods of history. The Bonnie Prince Charlie article, with photo, is from September 17th 1745, while beneath that is a small piece from January 1872 about the death of Greyfriars Bobby. On the back page, an article from 10th March 1556 highlights the mysterious murder of Queen Mary's secretary, Davd Rizzio. It's fun and informative.

The other newspaper is a Souvenir Reprint of the 1996 Anniversary Issue of the Hastings Observer, which I bought on a family holiday to that area. It's a fun replica of what the newspaper headline and articles might have looked like after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, had the newspaper been around then! It's a much easier way to read about all the main action and historical people than reading boring history books, as the information is delivered in bite-size pieces. The back page shows the fateful events month by month from January to October and is headed: 1066 - The Year of the Comet. A comet did indeed blaze across the sky  causing many to think it a bad omen for King Harold.

So next time you're browsing at a heritage site or museum, ask if they have any replica newspapers.



Carolb said...

Really enjoyed reading your post, Rosemary. Replica newspapers and magazines are wonderful sources of information. I wish there were more.

Paula Martin said...

Great idea, Rosemary. I have a few facsimile newspapers and find the classified adverts fascinating as they give such interesting information e.g. about jobs (and wages, too), furniture, clothes, and other items for sale.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks, Carol - they're great fun to read.

Hi Paula - it's all the little details that are so interesting!

Diana said...

I have a couple replica newspapers from the Titanic Exhibit. Really cool to have, especially in hand.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

That would be really interesting, Diana. I have other items on the Titanic but not that kind of thing.