About the Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2000

Access the fully searchable digital archive of what was once the world’s largest selling newspaper. Coverage starts from its first issue in 1855 until the end of 2000. It also includes issues of the Sunday Telegraph from 1961.

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

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Key Features

The Telegraph newspaper covers a range of subjects including:

  • History – news of the day, global events and stories of everyday life means it is a great source of social, cultural and political history;
  • Military History and War Studies – renowned for its war correspondents including Winston Churchill, Ellis Ashmead-Barlett (writing from Gallipoli), and the first female war correspondents during the Second World War;
  • Women’s Studies – a dedicated “women’s page” from 1890’s showed what were the important issues for women of the time including women’s work, seasonal flowers and fashion;
  • Politics and International Relations – full accounts of the international issues of the time including the policies of Empire;
  • Business Studies – originally known as “the city” pages, a dedicated business section covered all boardroom battles section and takeover bids;
  • Media Studies – the newspaper began life with only four pages with tiny print and evolved into the publication we recognize today;
  • Literature – with a dedicated literature page this newspaper has always had a strong association with the humanities starting with the serialization of several books on and during the First World War;
  • Family History – like many of the national dailies the Telegraph features a searchable Births, Deaths and Marriages column;
  • Science and technology - keen to embrace new technology it was the first newspaper to receive exclusive reports from across the Atlantic by wireless telegraph on the arrest of wife murderer Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen in 1910. In 1994, the Telegraph became the first newspaper to publish online;
  • Entertainment - it was the first paper to publish a crossword in 1925 and had the first television column in 1935.

The newspaper is fully text searchable and can be viewed by the page or by individual articles. Alternatively you can browse by issue cover. Results can be saved, bookmarked, emailed and printed.

More Information

Launched in 1855, The Telegraph was the first 1d morning paper (The Times was 7d). By 1876, the Telegraph was the largest selling newspaper in the world. It is generally seen by press historians as the start of a new era of journalism that emerged following the repeal of stamp duty (a tax on newspapers that pushed the price up) and signalling the first step towards the mass-market journalism of the Daily Mail. The newspaper was directed at a wealthy, educated readership and is commonly associated with traditional Toryism, despite its more ‘liberal’ beginnings.

Essays about the Telegraph

Odd note: The cryptic crossword puzzle that was circulated to recruit Allied code breakers during the Second World War was published on 13 January 1942. Those who completed the puzzle within the 12 minute deadline were contacted by the War Office to become code-breakers at Bletchley Park.

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