First colour pictures ever printed in English newspaper go online

On 15 April 2010, 160 years of remarkable pictorial coverage of all aspects of culture, politics and society in Britain and abroad from The Illustrated London News will be available through an easy-to-use, convenient digital format. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, in collaboration with Illustrated London News Limited, is releasing The Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842-2003, offering students, historians and researchers online access to the complete run of this unique publication, from its first issue on 14 May 1842 to its last in 2003.

Effectively the ‘TV of its day’, The Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842-2003 provides an unrivalled pictorial chronicle of Britain and the world from the early Victorian era to the late twentieth century. In 1842, The Illustrated London News became the world’s first fully illustrated weekly newspaper and the Christmas 1855 issue contained the first colour pictures ever printed in an English newspaper, marking a revolution in journalism and news reporting, which would span many imitations up to these days. Over the years, the publication played host to distinguished contributors including Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Wilkie Collins, Rudyard Kipling and Agatha Christie, as well as artists such as Melton Prior, William Heath Robinson and his brother Charles, Mabel Lucie Atwell, G. E. Studdy, David Wright, Louis Wain, F. Matania and H.M. Bateman.

In the days before radio, television and popular travel, The Illustrated London News offered a view of the world that most of its readers could only otherwise imagine. The publication presented a vivid picture of British and world events—including news of war, disaster, ceremonies, the arts and science—with coverage ranging from the Great Fire of Hamburg to Queen Victoria’s fancy dress ball at Buckingham Palace—both of which feature in the first issue. It published the plans for the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace before even Prince Albert had seen them. Special supplements, with fold-out engravings of the building and its content, took the reading public by storm. The paper’s war artists provided graphic illustrations of a number of wars including the American Civil War and the Boer War. It was also the first to report on the opening of King Tutankhamen’s tomb by Howard Carter in the 1920s.

For the first time, each page has been digitally reproduced in full colour as it originally appeared, enabling users to browse and search every issue, page, article and image across the paper’s entire history, online. Convenient 24/7 access means that the ILN’s many enthusiasts today no longer have to travel to a library holding paper copies. All article copy and image captions are fully text searchable and ‘hit term’ highlighting allows users to quickly locate search terms within the text. For ease of use, each article links to its corresponding illustration and flexible viewing options enable users to freely magnify or reduce images.

Images and articles can be easily shared for educational purposes, either as downloadable PDFs (up to 250 pages), as links that can be bookmarked and added to library or department web pages or shared on email. In addition, users can customise their research experience by creating their own archive within the product, saving searches across sessions, creating custom folders of marked items and making notes using the notepad feature. Wherever possible, Gale has included Special Issues and presentation pieces published by The Illustrated London News for important events such as coronations or royal funerals.

Seth Cayley, Publisher, Gale Cengage Learning EMEA, commented: “The Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842-2003 will help students, enthusiasts and those interested in genealogy to research social history, fashion, theatre, media, literature, advertising, graphic design and politics. As an eyewitness to the past, it offers pictorial insight into events across the world in topics as diverse as the Irish famine of the 1840s, the Maori Rugby Tour of 1888 and the building of the Panama Canal.”

Lisa Barnard, Chief Executive, Illustrated London News Ltd, added: “We are delighted to collaborate with Gale on this exciting project, bringing the world’s first pictorial magazine, the iconic Illustrated London News, to life through an accessible digital format. The Illustrated London News Historical Archive provides unprecedented online access to 160 years of social, cultural and political history. The ILN’s founder, Herbert Ingram, who died exactly 150 years ago, was a tremendous innovator who understood the power of engagement in media, so it is entirely appropriate that the ILN is entering a new digital era, becoming accessible to wide audiences, through this remarkable digitisation project.”

The full archive is now available by subscription or purchase to public libraries and academic institutions. For more information about The Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842-2003 or to request your free trial, please contact [email protected] or visit www.gale.cengage.co.uk/iln.

For further information about Gale Cengage Learning and its range of new products, please visit the website: www.cengage.co.uk or contact Rossella Proscia, Marketing Director, Cengage Learning EMEA, on tel: 01264 332831 or email: [email protected].

For further information about Illustrated London News Limited, please contact Lisa Barnard, Chief Executive, Illustrated London News Limited, on tel: 020 7461 1011, email: [email protected] or visit: www.iln.co.uk.

Notes to editors:

  1. Images must be reference the appropriate citations due to copyright:
    1. 1 “Christmas Supplement to the Illustrated London News.”. Illustrated London News (London, England),Saturday, December 22, 1855; pg. 727; Issue 775 and 776; . The Illustrated London News Historical Archive. Gale. International Web Demo Gale User. 6 Apr. 2010. Gale Document Number: HN3100041688. Illustrated London News Ltd. All rights reserved.
    2. 2 “Royal Wedding Number.”. Illustrated London News (London, England), Saturday, May 14, 1960; pg. [1]; Issue 6302; The Illustrated London News Historical Archive. Gale. International Web Demo Gale User. 6 Apr. 2010. Gale Document Number: HN3100498330. Illustrated London News Ltd. All rights reserved.
    3. 3 Rudyard Kipling. “The Captive.”. Illustrated London News (London, England),[Monday], [June 29, 1903]; pg. A; . The Illustrated London News Historical Archive.Gale. International Web Demo Gale User. 2 Apr. 2010. Gale Document Number: HN3100184154. Illustrated London News Ltd. All rights reserved.
    4. 4 Edward Bacon. “Tutankhamen’s Treasures.”. Illustrated London News (London, England), [Saturday], [April 29, 1972]; Issue 6885; . The Illustrated London News Historical Archive. Gale. International Web Demo Gale User. 6 Apr. 2010. Gale Document Number: HN3100414439. Illustrated London News Ltd. All rights reserved.
  2. For press enquiries and to receive a range of high resolution images, please contact Jennifer Jackson, Livewire Public Relations, on 020 8339 7440 or email: [email protected].
  3. About Cengage Learning and GaleCengage Learning is a leading provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, serves the world’s information and education needs through its vast and dynamic content pools, which are used by students and consumers in their libraries, schools and on the Internet. It is best known for its accuracy, breadth and convenience of its data, addressing all types of information needs—from homework help to health questions to business profiles—in a variety of formats. For more information please visit www.cengage.co.uk or gale.cengage.co.uk.
  4. About The Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842-2003The Illustrated London News Historical Archive 1842-2003 gives students and researchers unprecedented online access to the complete run of The Illustrated London News from its first publication on 14 May 1842 to its last in 2003. It is a unique resource for social, cultural and political history, supporting cross-disciplinary research across these areas. Each page has been digitally reproduced in full colour as it originally appeared. Researchers can view facsimile copies of each article and illustration individually or within the context of the page. All article copy and image captions are fully text searchable and hit term highlighting allows users to quickly locate search terms within the text. The Illustrated London News Historical Archive is available as a subscription or one-off purchase to public libraries and academic institutions. For more information please visit www.gale.cengage.co.uk/iln.
  5. About The Illustrated London News and its parent companyIn 1842, The Illustrated London News became the world’s first fully illustrated weekly newspaper, marking a revolution in journalism and news reporting. The Christmas 1855 issue contained the first colour pictures ever printed in an English newspaper. The publication presented a vivid picture of British and world events—including news of war, disaster, ceremonies, the arts and science—with coverage ranging from the Great Fire of Hamburg to Queen Victoria’s fancy dress ball at Buckingham Palace—both of which feature in the first issue. Over the years the publication played host to distinguished contributors including Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Wilkie Collins, Rudyard Kipling and Agatha Christie, as well as artists such as Melton Prior, William Heath Robinson and his brother Charles, Mabel Lucie Atwell, G. E. Studdy, David Wright, Louis Wain, F. Matania and H.M. Bateman. For further information please visit: http://ilnpictures.co.uk and www.iln.co.uk. ILN Pictures, managed by Mary Evans Picture Library, is one of the greatest collections of 19th and 20th century periodicals, including Tatler, The Sketch, The Graphic, Bystander and The Sphere.Today, Illustrated London News Limited, owner of ILN Picture Library, is an innovative London-based publishing and digital agency, specialising in customer engagement activity in print and digital for a wide range of clients. The business was acquired by its Chief Executive, Lisa Barnard, together with private investors, in December 2007.