Advert for the South London Advertising Agency and News Room
Medium: Print on paper
From the early-19th century on, many advertising agencies opened rooms in their buildings to visitors, offering the public access to leading newspapers and periodicals for a small fee. Newsrooms such as this had first opened in Britain in the 17th century. In many ways, they were the forerunners of the modern library.
The growth in popularity of these rooms during the Victorian era was mainly due to the increase in the size of the middle classes, the increase in leisure time, and the growth in the literate population.