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Title: The English provincial newspaper past and present : access and preservation
Author: Dixon, Diana
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2004
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English provincial newspapers began in the early eighteenth century and by 1900 there were well over 2.000 different titles in existence. The purpose of this thesis to examine how easy it is for researchers to find out what newspapers existed, and to gain access to the physical newspaper and to its contents. An introductory chapter demonstrates the use and importance of local newspapers and the diversity of repositories in which they may be stored. The thesis explores the adequacy of bibliographic control both of older newspapers and of current titles by examining published bibliographies and catalogues from the nineteenth century onwards. An interview with the General Editor of the Bibliography of British Newspapers outlines some of the problems faced in advancing this project. The acquisition policies of the British Library of current free newspapers are discussed, with particular reference to their advertising content. A survey measured the amount of advertising in newspapers received under legal deposit at the British Library and made recommendations for the retention of free newspapers. Difficulties with the bibliographic description of newspapers are reviewed in the context of international guidelines for cataloguing newspapers. Points that need to be considered for a full bibliographic description of a newspaper are considered. The problems associated with the physical deterioration of newsprint and surrogacy are reviewed, with reference to microfilming and digitisation initiatives in the UK and abroad. The NEWSPLAN project is reviewed in detail. Access to the contents of provincial newspapers is discussed in the context of indexing. The problems that need to be considered when indexing local newspapers are considered and recommendations are made to assist those embarking on projects. A survey of local newspaper indexing in English local studies libraries updates one conducted in 1987. An interview with the Newspaper Librarian at the British Library illustrates the role of the British Library past, present and future. The increasing importance of the I FLA Round Table on Newpapers demonstrates a healthy recognition of the importance of newspapers as an information source.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available