The Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive, 1902-2011

"TLS." Times Literary Supplement [London, England] 11 Nov. 2011: [1]. Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive.
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Nearly 120,000
Fact Sheet

Access over a century of insight, criticism, and commentary on literature and the arts

Since 1902, the Times Literary Supplement has forged a reputation for fine writing, literary discoveries and insightful debate. The TLS has attracted the contributions of the world’s most influential writers and critics, from T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf in the 1920s and 1930s to A.N. Wilson and Christopher Hitchens in the 1990s and 2000s. The complete run of the TLS from 1902 to 2011 is now available online as The Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive.

This collection includes the complete run of The Times Literary Supplement. Among over 300,000 reviews, letters, poems, and articles, users will find the contemporary criticism of scholars such as Christopher Ricks and George Steiner, the reviews of award-winning novels of A.S. Byatt and Joyce Carol Oates, and the philosophical works of Thomas Nagel, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins. They can also track the discoveries of explorers Redmond O’Hanlon and Robin Hanbury-Tenison.

Until 1974, writings and influential criticism of hundreds of the twentieth century's most important writers and thinkers were kept anonymous to foster open discussion. The Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive now discloses the identity of these contributors.

The value of the archive lies in its extensive cross-disciplinary reach as the only literary weekly to offer comprehensive coverage of the latest and most important publications in multiple languages, across all areas of the humanities and social sciences.

This unique digital collection offers thousands of book reviews covering works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as reviews of the visual and performing arts, including films, plays, exhibitions, operas, and stage performances. It contains topical essays and criticism in the areas of science and medicine; art and architecture; history, music, and religion; politics, economics and philosophy; exploration and sport; and engineering and town planning.

A multi-disciplinary resource, The Times Literary Supplement covers important stories in politics, history, travel, and more, including:

  • Alison Desforges’ book reviews on Rwandan genocide, including Season of Blood: A Rwandan Journey by Fergal Kean (15 August 1997)
  • Howard Temperley’s book review of Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution by Simon Schama (18 November 2005)
  • Penny Young’s article on the Middle East, "The weeping olive tree" – review of Palestine & Palestinians, published by the Alternative Tourism Group (14 October 2005)
  • Douglas Cooper’s book review of Great Paintings in America by Fiske Kimball (16 February 1951)
  • Virginia Woolf’s poetry review of The Old Huntsman and Other Poems by Siegfried Sassoon (31 May 1917)
  • Keith Miller’s article "Reviled at Heart," a review of Gus Van Sant’s film Elephant and Lars von Trier’s film Dogville (5 March 2004)
  • John Warrack’s review of Interpreting Wagner by James Treadwell (18 June 2004)
  • T.J. Reed’s review of the Jewish Museum in Berlin (5 October 2001)
  • Tim Flannery’s article "Howling Monkeysm," a book review of The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life by Richard Dawkins (19 November 2004)

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Additional Details

Subjects Covered
  • English Language and Literature Studies
  • Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
  • English
  • Gender and Women's Studies
  • Social Studies
  • Liberal Studies
  • Humanities/Humanistic Studies
  • Social Sciences
  • Sociology
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

“Distinguishes itself in its powerful search options, especially full-text via OCR processing; in-text highlighting of search terms; the capability of browsing issues, book titles, authors, contributors, illustrators, editors, and translators; and the option to create a personal profile to store search history and articles. Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers.”


“Here are the reviews and articles of the Times Literary Supplement, from its inception in 1902 through 1990, all available online in full text. In addition, the database identifies the contributors of the reviews and provides information and a link to view a facsimile of the original article. . . . [Search] results are easy to navigate, the page images are clear, and enlarging them is simple. The content is key here: having full text access to almost 90 years of TLS is quite valuable. Libraries that support holdings in literary studies, book review sources, and UK history and culture will find this resource enormously significant.”

Reference Reviews, May 2002

“This database contains more than 250,000 reviews, letters, poems, and articles from more than 5,000 issues of the Times Literary Supplement. For the first time, many anonymous reviewers have been named.”

Lawbook Co., 2007

“Now we have available across the world an archive which will not only provide the full text of the TLS over the years, but wherever possible reveal the identity of every contributor and include biographical information.”

Ferdinand Mount, former editor, Times Literary Supplement