Burney collection

Image from the Burney Collection

The newspapers and news pamphlets gathered by the Reverend Charles Burney (1757- 1817) are the largest single collection of 17th and 18th century English news media available from the British Library.

About the collection

The 700 or so bound volumes of newspapers and news pamphlets were published in London. However there are also some English provincial, Irish and Scottish papers, and a few examples from the American colonies. There are 1271 titles in the collection.

The collection totals almost 1 million pages including many rare single page and single issue items. Important titles included are the British Journal, the Daily Courant, the Daily Gazetteer, Lloyd’s Evening Post and British Chronicle, the London Chronicle, the Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, St James’ Chronicle or British Evening Post, and Whitehall Evening Post, or London Intelligencer.

What is available online?

Licences to the digitised collection website are available to all Further and Higher Education UK institutions. Access fees may apply. HE and FE institutions should visit the JISC website to learn more or apply for a licence.

To subscribe to the database please contact Gale Cengage Learning.

The collection is cross searchable with the 19th Century British Library Newspapers Database collection

What is available in our Reading Rooms?

In partnership with Gale Cengage Learning, the entire collection has been digitised. You can access the website now if you are within a British Library Reading Room.

How to guides

Terms of use for Google Books

This page states the terms and conditions surrounding the British Library’s out of copyright books which have been digitised by Google.

Can I copy material in the Reading Rooms?

What you need to know about copying British Library collections in our Reading Rooms

Can I take photographs of British Library material myself?

You can take photos of our collection items yourself in British Library Reading Rooms

How to handle books

See the techniques you should use to keep our books in good shape.

How to handle rolled items

We show how you should unroll items like scrolls, rolls and maps.

Breaches of British Library Reading Room Conditions of Use

These guidelines outline the British Library’s policies and procedures with regard to breaches of its Reading Room Conditions of Use. They are to ensure consistency in the actions taken in response to such breaches and to define the appropriate roles and responsibilities in the process.

Electronic resources

We collect thousands of electronic journals, books and websites and hundreds of databases. You need to come to the Library to access the majority of these resources.

How to request items not in the catalogue

You can use 'Request Other Items' to order items which have no record in Explore the British Library. Also to order most items found in Expore Archives and Manuscripts.

Guide to the British National Bibliography

A guide to help you use the British National Bibliography catalogue, covering: login, search, and how to manage your results

What collection items can I view online?

You can see books, manuscripts, maps, playbills, scores and much more. Researchers can use our collection of electronic resources and databases to help them find material relevant to their research.

Using gloves with books and manuscripts

Should you wear gloves? Here's some advice to help you decide.

Guide to Explore the British Library

A guide to help you use the catalogue, covering: login, search, how to manage your results, how to order/view items

Free Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions: 2019

We offer a range of free Discovery and 1-2-1 sessions to help you make the most of your time researching here.

Researching television and radio news

We have been recording television and radio news programmes broadcast in the UK since May 2010 - only accessible in our Reading Rooms

Researching newspapers

There are online newspaper resources available in the Newsroom, including both UK and international newspapers.

Search for resources in microforms

How to search for resources in microforms

Get a Reader Pass

Access over 170 million collection items for free with a Reader Pass.

How to handle folded items

Find out how you should hand items like large maps and book inserts.

Using the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC)

How to use the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC)

Guide to researching provenance of books now in the British Library

Where do the British Library’s old printed books ‘come from'? Who owned or read them in centuries past? Why does it matter?

How to get a Reader Pass if you are under 18

How to apply for an under 18 Reader Pass