Oxford has digitized and placed online long runs of the Annual Register (1758-78), Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine (1843-63), Gentleman’s Magazine (1731-50), Notes and Queries (1849-69), Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (1757-77), and The Builder (1843-52). (Via MonkeyFilter.)

Update (Jan. 2021). The original link no longer works, but there are links from the Holding page.


  1. aldiboronti says

    Thank you so much, lh! That Notes and Queries link is Christmas come early for me. I have a couple of the bound volumes in my collection and they’re a treasure trove of the abstruse and the fascinating, with etymology, in particular, cropping up frequently. Now I can happily squirrel through the whole series!

  2. When found, make a note of.
    (I note that I screwed up the first link, which I shall proceed to amend without further ado.)

  3. Lars Mathiesen says

    That archive has been retired because Flash (I guess) but the landing page has links to the new homes of the material. Now with 80 more years of Gentleman’s Magazine and 10 more of The Builder, unless there was a typo in Hat’s original list.

    A propos de Flash.

  4. the landing page has links to the new homes of the material.

    It does? I must be an idiot (or insufficiently caffeinated), because I can’t find it. Can you give me a helpful link?

  5. David Marjanović says

    The online archives of the Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. seem to be complete from 1665 (vol. 1, issue 1) to 1886. The journal is continuing, the latest articles are from Dec. 28th, 2020.

  6. Lars Mathiesen says

    Found it — looks like there was a redirect to the start page that stopped working.

    I searched from the Bodleian home page (for “ilej”) and found this list of online primary sources — most of them probably only work if you have a login to their portal, but you can always try.

  7. Thanks, I’ve updated the post.

  8. Lars Mathiesen says

    Hint for that source list — hover the mouse over the link, and if it starts with “solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/” it needs an Oxford login to access. If not, it goes directly to the resource which presumably means that it is free.

    The “solo” links are permalinks that don’t say where you are really going — but you can follow the link and see the specification page, which has a “Link to resource” with the real location after “login?url=”. Maybe you have a login to some other service that will access it.

  9. John Cowan says

    Surely the phrase in question is better known from Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop.

  10. You mean Dombey and Son.

    Hat’s comment of May 3, 2004 looks like it was meant to link directly to Notes and Queries, but now it just gets the holding page.

  11. Lars Mathiesen says

    I think everything sub-page of the ILEJ home page just gets the holding page now — which does have a link to a specific archive date in the Wayback Machine, but only the static content — the list of journals is empty in that version, so not much help. (You can read the final report on the project, though).

    There are earlier copies in the main Wayback Machine, and back in 2006 or so you do get multiple levels of menus (journal, volume, issue, page) — but once you get down into the frameset that is supposed to display an actual page, there is nothing but Internet Archive boilerplate there. Nothing is perfect.

    (It doesn’t look like there was Flash there, though. Possibly the storage solution for the page images had reached end of life, 20 years is a good run — even if a replacement with equal speed and capacity can be had for 20 dollars now, that doesn’t count the 100+ man-hours to work around assumptions baked into old software written in a language nobody reads any more).

  12. Notes & Queries is still ongoing. It has archives for which it charges a fee, but it also offers a free view of the first page. Since many of the early articles are less than a page, this usually amounts to being able to read the whole thing for free. When the article crosses a page, the continuation can be read on the free preview for the next article. I suppose that there might be a very long article that crosses three pages, where the second page cannot be read, but this seems rare.

    Anyway, there it is.

    Irrelevantly, I note that the graphic of the ampersand they chose for the journal title image is rather clearly a stylized “et”, which I thought was a cool little typographic touch.

  13. Thanks, that’s useful to know.

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