17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers

Truth impartially related from thence to the whole Kingdome, to prevent mis-information. "News." Mercurius Civicus Londons Intelligencer. Primary Source Media. 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection.
Product Category
Primary Sources
Nearly 1 million
Fact Sheet

Discover the largest single collection of English news media: newspapers, newsbooks, proclamations, and pamphlets.

17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers represents the largest single collection of seventeenth and eighteenth century English news media available from the British Library and includes more than 1,000 pamphlets, proclamations, newsbooks and newspapers from the period. This collection helps researchers chart the development of the newspaper as we now know it, beginning with irregularly published transcriptions of Parliamentary debates and proclamations to coffee house newsbooks, finally arriving at newspaper in its current form.

Gathered by Reverend Charles Burney (1757-1817), a notable scholar and son of a well-known music historian of the same name, this collection covers more than two hundred years of accounts, explanations, and points of views. More than 700 bound volumes of newspapers relate political, educational and economic situations – including English provincial, Irish, Scottish and a handful of papers from British colonies, in the Americas and Asia – relate political, educational and economic situations chosen from more than three dozen cities. These rare and restricted documents are now available online and students and academics can conduct full-text searches of nearly 1 million pages from approximately 1,270 titles spanning from Parliamentary papers and the London daily news to the latest English humour of the 1600s.

A well-known collection at the British Library, the original Burney volumes are in fragile condition and are restricted from reading-room use except as microfilm. Through a partnership with the British Library, Gale has digitally scanned each page of this collection, and with 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers brings these rare documents to scholars around the world in an easy-to-use, full-text searchable digital format.

Essential to the study of British history and culture in crucial periods, this collection features many rare news media resources, including:

  • An Account of the Publick Transactions in Christendom c. 1694
  • Bath Chronicle c. 1784–1796
  • Bell’s Weekly Messenger c. 1796–1801
  • Calcutta Chronicle and General Advertiser c. 1788–1790
  • Collection for Improvement of Husbandry and Trade c. 1692–1702
  • English Posts with News Foreign and Domestick c. 1700–1709
  • Kingdomes Intelligencer c. 1660–1663
  • London Penny Gazette c. 1666–1792
  • Loyal Protestant and True Domestic Intelligence c. 1681–1683
  • Mercurius Politicus Comprising the Summ of All Intelligence c. 1650–1660
  • Moderate Intelligencer c. 1645–1649
  • Original Weekly Journal c. 1715–1720
  • Whitehall Evening Post c. 1718–1738


  • Day-by-day coverage of the financial scandal of the 1720s, the South Sea bubble, with reports in the Weekly Journal or Saturday’s Post of how Parliament decided that if they were to leave the country, the directors of the South Sea company would "suffer death as a felon without benefit of clergy and forfeit to the King all his Lands, Goods and Chattels whatsoever"
  • The first advertisement for The Memoirs of Fanny Hill in the Whitehall Evening Post, 6 March 1750, the day it was published, as well as a report in the issue of 17 March of how the publisher was taken into custody and all copies were seized
  • News of the election of George Washington as president of the United States in the St James’s Chronicle or the British Evening Post on 21 April 1789
  • Insight into English attitudes to contemporary events, such as when the English Chronicle or Universal Evening Post used the unusual device of a headline – FRENCH REVOLUTION!! – for a whole page article on 18 July 1789, which reported sympathetically on the fall of the Bastille four days earlier, including how the officers were decapitated in "a sad but necessary spectacle . . . a solemnity worthy of the highest admiration"

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Additional Details

Subjects Covered
  • Western European Studies
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Humanities/Humanistic Studies
  • Social Sciences

Brochure [PDF]

Advisory Board
Dr. Moira Goff
British Library

Early Printed Collections

Dr. Brycchan Carey
Kingston University, London

Reader in English Literature

Markman Ellis
Queen Mary University, London

Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies

Term Frequency

Researchers can now easily see the frequency of search terms within sets of content to begin identifying central themes and assessing how individuals, events, and ideas interacted and developed over time.

Term Clusters

By grouping commonly occurring themes, this tool reveals hidden connections to search terms — helping scholars shape their research and integrate diverse content with relevant information.


Integrate content from complementary primary source products in one intuitive environment to enable users to make never-before-possible research connections.

Reviews & Testimonials

“I have only positive remarks on the Burney Collection. The search engine works like a charm and makes life so much easier for us who work with such great amounts of data. Tags and search engine are easy to understand and operate. I am truly thankful that we were given the opportunity to search the Burney Collection.”

Dr. Marianne Tråvén, Uppsala University, Sweden

“Being able to search through this fascinating collection online is practical, allowing for instant access to clear and printable copies of historical papers, and also addictive.”

Sarah Powell, Bradford Central Library, UK

“This is an electronic resource worth investing in, and will be indispensable in research libraries' periodicals collections. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.”