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Early Indian Newspapers

Introduction to the Collection

The collection of early, English-language Indian newspapers held by the British Library is founded on two, very fine historic collections:

  • newspapers once part of the British Museum Library (formerly held at the Newspaper Library, Colindale),  and
  • newspaper holdings from the former India Office Library, which are held in the British Library on microfilm only.

The following titles were formerly part of the Colindale collections and are held for the given dates and numbers. The place of publication within India (Agra, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, or Serampore) is given in each case. The holdings date from 1780 onwards.

The majority of the titles may be consulted in the Newsroom at the British Library. Some titles with the shelfmark prefix ‘PENN’  need to be consulted in the Rare Books & Music Reading Room at the British Library.

Collection highlights include:

Some Masthead Images from the Collection

The Asiatic Mirror

The Asiatic Mirror

Hicky's Bengal Gazette

Hicky's Bengal Gazette

The Hircarrah

The Hircarrah

Madras Gazette

Madras Gazette

The Oriental Star

The Oriental Star

List of Newspapers Held with Runs Commencing Pre-1851

  • The Agra Ukhbar. MFM.MMISC1186
    Agra : 30 June, 7, 14 July, 20 September, 15 December 1838; 21 February, 6, 18, 20, 27 April, 18, 30 May, 1 June, 8 June - 27 July, 17 August - 12 September, 19 September - 12 October 1839 : New series nos. 52, 54, 56, 75, 100; new series nos. 15, 28, 31, 32, 34, 40, 43, 44, 46-50, 56-63, 65-72.
  • Asiatic Mirror. MFM.MC1157A
    Calcutta : 3 July 1816 - 19 February 1817 : Vol. 33 no. 1,688 - vol. 34. no. 1,721.
  • The Asiatic Mirror, and Commercial Advertiser. NEWS8236
    Calcutta : 22 May, 17 July, 9 October 1793; 7 March 1798 : Vol. 6 nos. 276, 284, 296; vol. 9 no. 526.
  • The Bengal Catholic Expositor. MFM.MC1152.
    Calcutta : 6 July 1839 - 6 March 1841 : Vol. 1 no. 1 - vol. 4 no. 10.
  • Continued as: The Catholic Herald.
    13 March 1841 - 25 December 1841 : Vol. 1 nos. 1-42.
  • Continued as: The Bengal Catholic Herald.
    1 January 1842 - 25 June 1853; 3 July 1858 - 22 October 1859; 19 May 1860 - 16 November, 28 December 1861; 18 January - 3 May 1862; 12, 19 November 1864.
    Some issues imperfect; an imperfect run of supplements entitled 'Summary of Indian Intelligence' is also held from 13 July 1839 to 25 June 1853.
  • The Bengal Herald. MFM.MC1158L
    Calcutta : 7 January - 30 December 1843 : [New series] vol. 19 nos. 1-52.
  • Bengal Hurkaru. MFM.MC1149.
    Calcutta : 1 August 1822 - 30 June 1859; 2 January 1860 - 1 December 1866.
  • Bengal Lottery. NEWS8236
    Calcutta : 17 July 1793.
    A news sheet, with 'MIRROR-PRESS' at foot.
  • Bengal Weekly Messenger. MFM.MC1157.
    Calcutta : 2 January - 25 December 1825 : Vol. 2 nos. 1-52.
  • Bombay Courier. MFM.MC1112.
    Bombay : 5 January 1793 - 29 December 1846 : Nos. 14-9,265.
    Wanting the whole of 1797.
  • Bombay Gazette. [1792 - 1868]: MFM.MC1122. [1911 - 1914]: NEWS8206
    Bombay : 15 August 1792; 7 April 1813 - 31 December 1814; 3 January 1816 - 30 December 1841; 1 January 1850 - 31 December 1868; 22 May 1911 - 7 March 1914 : Vol. 3 no. 113; vol. 24 nos. 1,192-[1,160]; vol. 27 nos. 1,335, etc.
    Some issues imperfect.
  • The Bombay Times. NEWS13394.
    Bombay : 1 April, 22 May 1841.
  • Continued as: The Bombay Monthly Times. NEWS13395
    1 November 1842 - August 1845.
  • Continued as: The Bombay Times. NEWS13396
    15 September 1845 - 29 December 1857.
  • The Calcutta Chronicle; and General Advertiser. PENN.NT320
    Calcutta : 4 January 1787 - 30 December 1790; 27 January 1794 : Nos. 50-258, 419.
  • The Calcutta Courier MFM.MC1158K
    Calcutta : 4 April 1832 - 31 December 1839 : [New series] vol. 1 no. 1 - vol. 7 no. 2,114.
  • Continued as: Calcutta Courier, and Civil, Military and Naval Gazette.
    1 January 1840 - 31 March 1842 : [New series] vol. 8 no. 2,115 vol. 10 no. 2,118.
  • The Calcutta Friday Morning Post; and, General Advertiser. NEWS8236
    Calcutta : 28 June 1793 : No. 61.
  • The Calcutta Gazette; or, Oriental Advertiser. MFM.MC1146.
    Calcutta : 4 March 1784 - 25 August 1791 : Vol. 1 no. 1 - vol. 15 no. 391.
  • Continued as: Calcutta Gazette.
    1 September 1791; 1 June - 20 July, 3 August 1815; 20 July 1816 : Vol. 16 no. 392, etc.
  • The Calcutta Journal, or Political, Commercial, and Literary Gazette. MFM.MC1148.
    Calcutta : 2 October 1818 - 26 April 1823.
    With a prospectus dated 26 September 1818.
  • Calcutta Literary Gazette. MFM.MC1157B
    Calcutta : 1 January - 2 December 1832 : Vol. 7 nos. 1-49.
    Some issues imperfect.
  • The Calcutta Morning Post. MFM.MMISC228.
    Calcutta : 3 January 1812 - 31 December 1813 : Nos. 1,025-1,119.
  • Calcutta Morning Post Extraordinary. NEWS8236
    Calcutta : 16 September 1793.
    A news sheet.
  • The Calcutta Weekly Gazette, or, Civil, Military and Commercial Register. MFM.MC1151.
    Calcutta : 5 January 1840 - 12 December 1841; 7 January - 30 December 1843 : [Vol. 3 no. 1] - vol. 4 no. 50; vol. 6 nos. 1-52.
  • The East India Political Register. MFM.MC1158C
    Calcutta : 30 June 1838 - 26 January 1839 : Vol. 1 no. 1 - vol. 2 no. 4.
  • The Friend of India. MFM.MC1133.
    Serampore : September 1820 - 1826 : Nos. 1-15.
    Quarterly series.
  • The Friend of India. MFM.MC1134.
    Serampore : 1 January 1835 - 30 December 1876 : Nos. 1-2,161.
  • Continued as: The Friend of India, and Statesman.
    5 January 1877 - 25 December 1883 : Nos. 2,182-2,546.
    Weekly edition.
    Incorporated with The Indian Statesman; published in Calcutta from 24 April 1875 onwards.
  • Gov. Gazette Extraordinary. NEWS8236
    Calcutta : 11 April 1826.
  • Government Gazette. MFM.MC1145.
    Calcutta : 2 June 1815 - 29 March 1832 : Nos. 1-1,087.
  • Government Gazette. MFM.MC1153.
    Madras : 15 October 1801 - 27 December 1832 : Vol. 1 no. 1 - vol. 33 no. 1,629.
    Wanting the issues of January 1803 to February 1804, November to December 1808, and October to December 1814.
    Another copy of the issue for 2 January 1812, vol. 11 no. 534, is held at C.misc.507.(1).
  • The Half Weekly Calcutta Courier. NEWS8236
    Calcutta : 12, 15 June 1839 : Nos. 751 (supplement only) - 752.
    Imperfect copies.
  • Hicky's Bengal Gazette; or, Calcutta General Advertiser. PENN.NT330
    Calcutta : 1/8 April - 4/11 November 1780 : Nos. 11-42.
    Wanting no. 13.
  • Continued as: Hicky's Bengal Gazette; or, The Original Calcutta General Advertiser.
    11/18 November 1780 - 16/23 March 1782 : Nos. 43-113.
    Wanting nos. 50-52, 74, and 77.
    Includes issues of Hicky's Bengal Gazette; Extraordinary dated: 28 April, 23 July, 6 August, and 26 November 1781.
    Also includes a Supplement to the Original Bengal Gazette dated: 15 September 1781.
  • The Hircarrah. PENN.NT325
    Madras : 7 January - 14 October 1794 : Vol. 1 nos. 18 - vol. 2 no. 58.
    Wanting vol. 1 no. 32.
    The issue for 15 July 1794, vol. 1 no. 45, is entitled: Supplement to The Hircarrah.
    Includes issues of The Hircarrah Extraordinary dated: 23 January, 24, 30 April, 30 June, 11 August, and 7 September 1794.
    Also includes issues of The Hircarrah Supplementary dated: 1 May and 4 July 1794.
  • The India Gazette, or, Calcutta Advertiser. MFM.MISC.225.
    Calcutta : 5 January 1782 - 29 December 1788; 1 August 1822 - 30 December 1843 : Vol. 2 no. 60 - vol. 4 no. 424; vol. 42 no. 2,165 - vol. 72 no. 78.
  • The India Gazette; or, Calcutta Public Advertiser. PENN.NT344
    Calcutta : 20 February, 23 July 1781; 16 February - 28 December 1782; 3 January - 26 December 1785; 2 January 1786.
    Some issues are in duplicate.
    Includes issues of the India Gazette, Extraordinary dated: 20 February 1781.
    Also includes Supplement issues dated: 7, 14 February, 20 June, 8, 15, 22, 29 August, and 24 October 1785.
    Issues for 15 February - 16 August 1790, nos. 483-509, are held in the Early English Newspapers microfilm set.
  • Continued as: India Gazette.
    3 June 1793.
  • Continued as: The India Gazette.
    26 January 1818; 25 June 1838.
    Includes an Additional Supplement to The India Gazette dated: 2 November 1818.
  • Madras Courier. Multiple shelfmarks – see Explore the British Library
    Madras : 12 May, 16 June 1790 - 25 April 1793; 11 October - 8 November 1793 : Nos. 240, 245-394, 418-421.
  • Continued as: The Courier.
    1 January - 29 April 1795: Nos. 482-499.
  • Continued as: Madras Courier.
    6 May 1795 - 28 December 1813; 3 January - 21 July 1815; 10 October 1815 - 12 August 1817; 6 January - 29 December 1818; 19 January 1819.
  • Madras Gazette. PENN.NT327
    Madras : 1 January - 28 February 1795; 27 April - 6 July 1799; 18 March - 30 December 1809 : Vol. 1 nos. 1-9; vol. 5 nos. 226-236; nos. 742-783.
    Wanting nos. 227-228, 230-231, 233, 744, 746, 748, 771, 774-775, and 781.
    Includes Supplement issues to the Madras Gazette dated: 17 January, 7, 14, 23 February 1795; 25 March, 12, 14, 24 June, 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 July, 11, 16, 23, 30 September, 7, 14 October, 18, 22 November, 5, 9, 19, 23, 27 December 1809.
    Also includes issues of the Madras Gazette Extraordinary dated: 20 February 1795; 20, 21 March, 3, 11, 16, 20, 25 April, 1, 7, 11, 15, 17 May 1799 (printed continuously as a set); 25 May 1799; 27, 29 May, 2, 15, 26 June, 2, 3, 4, 6, 19 July 1799 (printed continuously as a set); 5 June, 22 July, 11, 26, 28, 30 August, 11, 13, 16, 27 September, 15 October, 5 December 1809.
  • Madras Herald. MFM.MC1158F
    Madras : 1 January 1841 - 22 October 1842 : Vol. 40 no. 771 - [new series] vol. 2 no. 163.
  • Madras Male Asylum Herald.MFM.MC1158E
    Madras : 3 January 1833 - 28 May 1836 : Nos. 1-291.
  • The Madras Native Herald. MMISC926[1861]
    Madras : 4 January - 20 December 1845; January - November 1861 : Vol. 4 nos. 1-26; vol. 20 nos. 1-11.
  • The Military Gazette. MFM.MC1157C
    Calcutta : 4 January - 27 December 1834; 7 January - 30 December 1837; 5 January - 28 December 1839 : Vol. 1 no. 1, etc.
  • The Oriental Commercial Register and East India Price Current. LOU.CMISC83
    Calcutta : 2 April 1818 - 15 January 1819 : Vol. 1 no. 1 - vol. 2 no. 20.
    Contains also a 'Prospectus of the Oriental Commerical Register and East India Price Current'.
    With the armorial bookplate (and MS. signature) of: Richd. Blechynden Esqr.
  • Oriental Observer. MFM.MC1158A
    Calcutta : 6 January 1828 - 24 April 1831.
  • Continued as: Oriental Literary Observer.
    1 May 1831 - 25 December 1831.
  • Continued as: Oriental Observer.
    1 January 1832 - 28 December 1833.
  • Continued as: Oriental Observer and Literary Chronicle.
    7 January - 30 December 1837; 5 January - 28 December 1839.
  • The Oriental Star. NEWS8236
    Calcutta : 30 March, 1 June 1793 : Vol. 1 nos. 13, 22.
    Includes two newsheets 'delivered gratis' of the Calcutta Daily Advertiser dated: 1 and 29 June 1793.
    The Oriental Star. Extraordinary for 1 June 1793 is printed on the verso of the 1 June 1793 Calcutta Daily Advertiser news sheet.
  • Overland Courier. MFM.MC1112A
    Bombay : 22 July, 30 September 1840 - 1 February 1841.
  • Continued as: Overland Bombay Courier.
    1 March 1841 - 1 December 1841; 1 January 1844 - 15 December 1846.
  • Summary of Indian Intelligence. MFM.MC1152.
    Calcutta : 13 July 1839 - 25 June 1853.
    Published as a supplement to The Bengal Catholic Expositor and The Bengal Catholic Herald.
    Some issues imperfect.
  • The Times. NEWS8227
    Calcutta : 7 December 1813 : No. 1.
    Also retains the numeration of its previous title, the Calcutta Telegraph: Vol. 13 no. 997.
  • The United Service Gazette. NEWS15427
    Madras : 26 February 1839 : No. 120.
  • United Service Gazette and Literary Chronicle. NEWS8209
    Bombay : 2-30 April, 3 December 1841 - 3 May 1842 : Nos. 79-87, 149-192.
  • The Weekly Examiner. MFM.MC1158M
    Calcutta : 14 March 1840 - 31 July 1841 : Vol. 1 no. 1 - vol. 2 no. 31.
    Discontinued.
  • The Weekly Intelligencer. MFM.MC1158Y
    Calcutta : 5 January - 29 June 1841 : Vol. 1 nos. 1-26.
    Some issues imperfect.
  • The World. NEWS8236
    Calcutta : 4 January 1794 : Vol. 3 no. 177.

The British Library also has major holdings of Indian newspapers in English printed after 1850. The total number of titles of newspapers and journals published in India (excluding title changes) exceeds some 200. Please search  Explore the British Library to locate further titles of interest.

Substantial holdings of Indian newspapers on microfilm are also held within the Asian and African Collections of the main British Library at St Pancras, including those in Indian scripts. A checklist compiled by Hedley Sutton, Handlist of Western Language South Asian Newspapers Held on Microfilm (London: British Library, 1994), is available on the open access reference shelves in the Asian & African Studies Reading Room in St Pancras and it includes the Indian papers held in St Pancras. In addition to these microfilm holdings, some early Indian newspapers are also held in original, hard copy format in St Pancras, and may also be consulted in the Asian & African Studies Reading Room.

Contact

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