Newspapers

The work of scanning newspapers from the WW1 period is now almost complete. The project staff have prepared and scanned 80,000 pages and now the next step; running OCR software to enable free text searching will begin.

While choosing the newspapers to include we attempted to select newspapers which covered all parts of Wales, reflected a variety of political and religious viewpoints and content in both English and Welsh. Here is the final list of titles.

  • Aberdare Leader
  • Abergavenny Chronicle
  • Abergavenny Mail
  • Adsain
  • Amman Valley Chronicle
  • Baner ac Amserau Cymru
  • Barmouth and Couny Advertiser
  • Barry Dock News
  • Brecon & Radnor Express
  • Brecon County Times
  • Y Brython
  • Cambria Daily Leader
  • Cambrian News
  • Carmarthen Journal
  • Carmarthen Weekly Reporter
  • Y Clorianydd
  • Y Cymro
  • Y Darian
  • Denbighshire Free Press
  • Dinesydd Cymreig
  • Y Drafod
  • Y Drych
  • Y Dydd
  • Y Genedl
  • Flintshire Observer
  • Glamorgan Gazette
  • Y Goleuad
  • Gwyliedydd Newydd
  • Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph
  • Herald Cymraeg
  • Herald of Wales
  • Llais Llafur
  • Y Llan
  • Llanelli Star
  • Llangollen Advertiser
  • Monmouth Guardian
  • North Wales Chronicle
  • The Pioneer (Merthyr)
  • Seren Cymru
  • South Wales Weekly Post
  • Y Tyst
  • Yr Udgorn

12 thoughts on “Newspapers

  1. Very disappointed to see that only Y Clorianydd appears to cover Anglesey. No room for The Holyhead Chronicle, The Holyhead Mail & Anglesey Herald or The Holyhead Adveriser & Weekly News?

    • Dear Mr Jones
      Thank you for your comment about the inclusion of regional newspapers. The selection of titles for inclusion in a project is always difficult. The reality is that the resources available for newspaper coverage in the Project necessitated that it would be at a higher level. The aim was to provide a broadly equal level of coverage for all areas, taking into consideration factors such as population density and scale of circulation. A comprehensive coverage for each locality and area is beyond the scope and means of the Project. Thus it results that areas such as Pontypridd, Radnorshire or Montgomeryshire (along with Ynys Môn) are also not represented with a particular title. In an ideal world the coverage would be as comprehensive as possible. Regrettably this cannot the case. Another factor is that the inclusion of all or a significant number of regional and local newspapers would have resulted in other sources rich in information being excluded. Furthermore newspapers vary considerably in their coverage of war issues with those titles with a broader national and regional coverage being more likely to have a breadth of coverage which made them candidates for inclusion in the Project.

  2. Hello Hannah,
    The newspapers that we’re digitising cover many aspects of the war, including the home front, politics, religion and news from the front. We haven’t been through the contents of all the newspapers in detail, but I would imagine that there would be content relating to shell-shock, especially in some of the anti-war and pacifist publications. When the website is complete you will be able to carry out free text searches on the newspaper content, so you should be able to easily find relevant content.
    Regards
    Rob Phillips

  3. I’ve been engaged in research on a Roll of Honour for Neath and District for the last two years, and have gleaned significant material already from the SWWP in particular. Some of the other publications included in your project will also carry material and photographs. I have two questions – when ( and I realise the enormity of the project!) do you think the OCR’d versions will be ready for searching? Also, a question on the resolution of the scanning. As many of these newspapers constitute the only known source of photographs of the men who fell, given the appropriate permissions of course, are they likely to be of sufficient quality for inclusion in print?

    Many Thanks

  4. The project portal is due to launch at the end of July 2013, and the OCR versions of newspapers will be available to search at that time. While we have finished scanning the newspapers, there is a great deal of post scanning processing work to do.

    There are some quite striking pictures in the local papers of soldiers and all newspapers have been scanned at high resolution (400ppi) which is suitable for reproducing in print but due to the nature of newsprint, we are starting with a low quality original. We’re aiming to produce the best possible reproduction of the original within the project budget, an the result should be able to be reproduced in print to a similar quality to the original newspaper, but we are dealing with newsprint and to a great extent it’s the quality of the original image which will itself determine how fitting the digitised image is for reproducing in print.

    We will also be digitising a selection of photographs from the partner institutions, including a selection of portraits of servicemen from the DC Harries collection.

  5. It seems strange to me that you’ve chosen the Aberdare Leader but not something that had a little bit of a wider coverage like the Glamorgan Free Press or the Merthyr Express. It means that you have no paper that directly covers the Rhondda, Pontypridd, Caerphilly… Yet, you have both the Aberdare Leader and the Darian which are, as you know, Aberdare newspapers. You say above that “a comprehensive coverage for each locality and area is beyond the scope and means of the Project. Thus it results that areas such as Pontypridd … are also not represented with a particular title.” I can understand that but to leave out the Rhondda AND Pontypridd AND Caerphilly AND Cardiff almost entirely (there’s a degree of detail in the Merthyr Pioneer, granted) seems quite an odd choice to have made given the sheer size of those populations. Especially so when you have decided to have two Abergavenny papers.

    • Hi – that’s a really interesting question. The newspapers that we have selected for digitisation were based on complete titles available in the holdings of the National Library of Wales, and we have attempted to achieve coverage that is as complete as possible, based on discussions with our academic advisory board. However, one of our constraining issues has been copyright – given that the period we are covering is relatively recent (in terms of copyright law!) we have had to exclude material where there were rights clearance issues that could not be resolved within the relatively narrow timeframe available for digitisation. However the overacrhing ethos of the project is scalability – we hope to be able to add material over time, should additional funding be available. So there may well be a possibility to add material once their copyright term expires. Thanks very much for your very helpful feedback!
      Best, Lorna

      • Hello,

        Many thanks for the reply. It’s the inevitable catch-22 of digital humanities, copyright, isn’t it!

        I should explain that, having completed my phd only recently and using digital resources such as GIS when doing so, I am very interested in the future of the digital humanities in Wales and welcome projects like this and the people’s collection. But I’m also wary that the most obvious areas wherein digitisation could transform the knowledge and understanding of those working ostensibly in “British” (but practically in English-Scottish) history are being neglected. As a historian of the central South Wales Valleys – i.e. today’s RCT, Merthyr and Caerphilly – I would say that they are being neglected, but I think it’s demonstrably true above and beyond my own professional prejudice. Having strong digital resources for the “engine of the coalfield” would overcome many of the stereotypes that have grown up about it.

        I suppose what I’m thinking of is a resource like the irish newspaper archives (http://www.irishnewsarchive.com/) that have really opened up nineteenth and twentieth century provincial Ireland to historians from far and wide and made it possible for even the most casual of historians to say something about Ireland that’s grounded in contemporary reportage. Wales will continue to struggle to find its voice until we put the most important stuff online.

        Thanks again,

        Daryl.

  6. How about the Montgomeryshire Express and County Times.The Newtown Local History Group has published a book of biographies of those service people who died in WWs and whose names are on the town cenotaph.

    • Hello Joy,
      Thanks for your comment. We currently don’t have the resources to do any additional titles, but we are looking fro further funding for some collections that we’ve not been able to include this time and we’ll keep those titles in mind if we secure additional funding.