Quick Facts

  • 1.7 million pages
  • Cross-searchable with other collections on the Nineteenth Century Collections Online platform.


TIME PERIOD: 1749-1984


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Nineteenth Century Collections Online: British Politics and Society includes tens of thousands of primary sources related to the political climate in Great Britain during the “long” nineteenth century. Invaluable for historical scholarship, the archive includes a range of rare works that offer new avenues for research.

From Home Office records and papers of British statesmen to working class autobiographies and ordnance surveys, British Politics and Society is a remarkable resource for scholars looking to uncover new connections or explore new directions in understanding 19th century British political and social history.

Collections within this archive include:

  • Civil Disturbance, Chartism and Riots in Nineteenth-Century England
  • Discontent and Authority,1820-1840
  • Home Office Papers and Records, 1783-1894
  • People’s History: Working Class Autobiographies
  • Public Order, Discontent, and Protest in Nineteenth Century England, 1820-1850
  • Rare Radical and Labour Periodicals of Great Britain
  • Radicalism, Anti-Radicalism and Reform in England, 1769-1861, Original Papers and Minute Books
  • Selected Papers of the Prime Ministers of Great Britain
  • And many more

Nineteenth Century Collections Online is the most ambitious scholarly digitization and publication program ever undertaken, providing full-text, fully searchable content from a wide range of primary sources. Selected with the guidance of an international team of expert advisors, these primary sources are invaluable for a wide range of academic disciplines and areas of study, providing never before possible research opportunities for one of the most studied historical periods.  


Significance: British Politics and Society enables researchers to explore such topics as British domestic and foreign policy, trade unions, Chartism, utopian socialism, public protest, radical movements, the cartographic record, political reform, education, family relationships, religion, leisure and many others. With this archive, scholars have instant access to a range of never-before-available primary sources, including manuscripts, maps, drawings, newspapers, periodicals, government correspondence, letters, diaries, photographs, poster, pamphlets and more.

Structure: British Politics and Society is available on Gale’s cutting-edge research platform. This state-of-the-art platform was developed using our flexible Agile approach,  incorporating user testing and feedback throughout the process to ensure that we are providing the features that scholars require — such as detailed subject indexing and metadata, textual analysis tools, personalized user accounts, and more — for research in the digital age.

Source:  Totaling more than 1.7 million pages, collections were sourced from a variety of institutions, including the British Library, Oxford University and The National Archives, Kew.


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