About Punch Historical Archive 1841-1992

Access to the digital archive of Punch, the world’s most celebrated magazine of humour and satire.

Use at a library or enter your library card & password/PIN

logo Use Punch Historical Archive 1841-1992 now

Key features

From its early years as a campaigner for social justice to its transformation in the mid-19th century into a national icon and pillar of the Establishment, Punch played a central role in the formation of British identity – and how the rest of the world saw the British. This archive covers such themes as:

  • World War I and II;
  • Colonialism and the end of Empire;
  • Social change including the role of women;
  • Technology;
  • Public health and environment.

More information

Often noted as the most famous magazine of humour, Punch published some of the finest comic writers in the English language – from W.M. Thackeray to P.G. Wodehouse. Its celebrated cartoons swayed governments and captured the vast shifts in life over two centuries. Punch’s visual iconography became cultural reference points, establishing symbols like John Bull, Britannia and the British Lion firmly in the public imagination.

This fully searchable online archive contains approximately 200,000 pages from all issues of Punch between 1841 and 1992, including Almanacs and other special numbers, as well as prefaces, epilogues, indexes and full colour images.

The history of Punch

Print this page