Newspaper reading rooms and civic engagement: a subversive history

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Image of Professor Aled Gruffydd Jones

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  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk
  • Full Price: £8.00 Under 18: £5.00 Other concessions available

This year’s lecture looks at the role the collective reading of the Press has played in the building of civil society and the enhancement of public education

Newspaper readings rooms in the UK since the 18th century have come in all shapes and sizes, from local literary societies and miners' institutes to august national institutions like the British Museum. Often they allowed access to both a range of relatively immediate information about the contemporary world and to the past. In both senses, they could serve as spaces not only for the quiet consumption of information but also for the development of creativity, the deepening of civic engagement and the enhancement of public education in the broadest sense. This lecture looks at the history of newspaper reading rooms, the role the collective reading of the Press has played in the building of civil society, and the creative challenges posed to the cultural and civic world they represented by the digital technologies and platforms that are a growing part.

This is the third in our series of lectures named after the 19th-century journalist W T Stead, and organised to coincide with the opening of the Newsroom at the British Library. Stead explored what journalism could be in his time; the W T Stead Lectures continue to explore journalism in ours. It is given by Professor Aled Gruffydd Jones, newspaper historian and head of the National Library of Wales.

The Stead Lectures are funded from the proceeds of the 'W T Stead: Newspaper Revolutionary Centenary Conference' organised by Laurel Brake, Ed King, Roger Luckhurst and James Mussell.

Details

Name: Newspaper reading rooms and civic engagement: a subversive history
Where: Staff Restaurant
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Senior 60+: £6.00
Student: £5.00
Registered Unemployed: £5.00
Under 18: £5.00
Full Price: £8.00
Friend of the BL: £5.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
boxoffice@bl.uk