Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO): British Politics and Society

The Yorkshire miners Machin, Frank. The Yorkshire miners: a history by Frank Machin. Vol. 1. Barnsley: National Union of MineWorkers (Yorkshire Area), [1958]. Nineteenth Century Collections Online.
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Explore British politics and society in the nineteenth century

Nineteenth Century Collections Online: British Politics and Society includes tens of thousands of primary sources related to the political climate in Great Britain during the "long" nineteenth century, covering approximately 1749 to 1984. Invaluable for historical scholarship, the archive includes a range of rare works that offer new avenues for research.

From Home Office records and papers of British statesmen to working-class autobiographies and ordnance surveys, British Politics and Society is a remarkable resource for scholars looking to uncover new connections or explore new directions in understanding nineteenth century British political and social history.

Collections within this archive include:

  • Civil Disturbance, Chartism and Riots in Nineteenth-Century England
  • Discontent and Authority, 1820-1840
  • Home Office Papers and Records, 1783-1894
  • People's History: Working Class Autobiographies
  • Public Order, Discontent, and Protest in Nineteenth Century England, 1820-1850
  • Rare Radical and Labour Periodicals of Great Britain
  • Radicalism, Anti-Radicalism, and Reform in England, 1769-1861, Original Papers and Minute Books
  • Selected Papers of the Prime Ministers of Great Britain
  • And many more

Nineteenth Century Collections Online is the most ambitious electronic scholarly archive of its kind, providing full-text, fully searchable content from a wide range of primary sources. Selected with the guidance of an international team of expert advisors, these primary sources are invaluable for a wide range of academic disciplines and areas of study, providing never-before-possible research opportunities for one of the most studied historical periods.

British Politics and Society enables researchers to explore such topics as British domestic and foreign policy, trade unions, Chartism, utopian socialism, public protest, radical movements, the cartographic record, political reform, education, family relationships, religion, leisure, and many others. With this archive, scholars have instant access to a range of never-before-available primary sources, including manuscripts, maps, drawings, newspapers, periodicals, government correspondence, letters, diaries, photographs, posters, pamphlets, and more.

British Politics and Society is available on Gale’s cutting-edge research platform. This state-of-the-art platform was developed using our flexible Agile approach, incorporating user testing and feedback throughout the process to ensure that we are providing the features that scholars require—such as detailed subject indexing and metadata, textual analysis tools, personalized user accounts, and more—for research in the digital age.


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Additional Details

Subjects Covered
  • British Studies
  • British Politics
  • British Society

Brochure [PDF]

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

“With its outstanding content and effective search devices, this is an excellent research tool for all library users interested in the subject areas it encompasses. SUMMING UP: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers.”

B.P. Tolppanen, Eastern Illinois University

“I've thoroughly enjoyed exploring the material in the first two archives – British Politics and Society and European Literature, 1790-1840: The Corvey Collection. It really is most impressive – very easy to navigate, extraordinarily good definition of hand-written archival material, and including some pretty obscure – and hence invaluable – finds amongst what has been loaded on the two archives. Nineteenth Century Collections Online is clearly destined to become a gold star resource for economic and social historians.”

Dr. Brian Robson - director, Centre for Urban Policy Studies (CUPS), University of Manchester

“The British Library is delighted to be partnering with Gale Cengage Learning to provide access to some of our rare and unique holdings from the 19th Century via the innovative Nineteenth Century Collections Online platform. NCCO's options for search and navigation through rich content from many libraries and archives opens up some of our vast collections in ways never possible before.”

Simon Bell, head of strategic partnerships and licensing, the British Library

“The wealth of rare, hard-to-find works available in NCCO will be of great interest to researchers in a variety of disciplines, while the unique 'Term Clusters' feature will delight users. For academic and larger public libraries.”

Booklist, November 2012

“The ranges of sources of all this material boggled my mind. Yes, some of it is from mainstream publications, but so much of it was from rare, hard-to-find sources that I gained an appreciation for the time and effort it's taken to assemble these vast digitized collections.”

Library Journal

“The scope of this digitization project makes it a significant research resource for both scholars and undergraduates. There are several benefits to this scope: the sheer size of the collections; the geographic range including comparative materials from various cultures; and the variety of types of documents including a significant amount of unpublished material . . . . The new platform tools developed for NCCO are impressive and should be useful to scholars as well as students. These include the browse features for 'Exploring Collections,' the search within results features, text analysis tools, and sophisticated image viewing tools.”

eDesiderata, Center for Research Libraries

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