During its pilot phase, BLT19 Project digitised partial runs of two nineteenth-century periodicals:

1. British Workman

The British Workman (1855-1921) is an illustrated penny monthly aimed at working men and, to a certain extent, working women. Its editor, Thomas Bywater Smithies (1817-1883), thought that pictures were the best way to get people interested in Temperance, which is why the British Workman is so visually stimulating. The copies of the British Workman that we digitised are a group of stitched, gilt-edged fascicles. The publication was sold at a range of price points to appeal to different classes of readers. Single issues sold for a penny. Readers with sufficient income were encouraged to buy packets of issues to distribute to working men and women in their communities. And, a gilt-edged “parlour edition,” which highlighted the artistic value of the illustrations, was advertised in The Times in 1860 for 2s. 6d.

2. Stationery Trade Review

The Stationery Trade Review (1881-1913) is a trade journal launched in July 1881 by an Edinburgh stationer, James Glass, to serve the needs of the stationery, leather, and fancy goods trades. Glass believed that existing trade journals ignored the needs of businesspeople outside of London.  The numbers of the 1887 run of the publication that we digitised are a bound set of production copies once used by the printer, the printer’s son, and the stand-in editor, Andrew Lang. Lang, a prolific writer based known for his work on folklore, was put in charge of the magazine while its proprietor, James Glass, was travelling in Australia. Corrections, ink smudges, editorial notes, and blank pages offer a rare glimpse into the processes, people, and interventions involved in producing a print publication.


Zoom & Browse Interface

Use the image-based Metabotnik interface to zoom and browse through all issues of either the British Workman or the Stationery Trade Review.