Sunday, November 25, 2007


The National Library of Scotland has a fascinating collection of digitized broadsheets from years gone by. Looking through some of these broadsheets is a real eye-opening reminder of how much has changed (and how much has stayed the same). From the NLS site:

How Ordinary Scots in Bygone Days Found out what was Happening

In the centuries before there were newspapers and 24-hour news channels, the general public had to rely on street literature to find out what was going on. The most popular form of this for nearly 300 years was 'broadsides' - the tabloids of their day. Sometimes pinned up on walls in houses and ale-houses, these single sheets carried public notices, news, speeches and songs that could be read (or sung) aloud.

The National Library of Scotland's online collection of nearly 1,800 broadsides lets you see for yourself what 'the word on the street' was in Scotland between 1650 and 1910. Crime, politics, romance, emigration, humour, tragedy, royalty and superstitions - all these and more are here.

There are too many examples to include - as a small sampler, try this report of the sale of a wife.

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