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Ireland in Literature 1798-1998

Course Number: EN420K

Subject: English


This guide accompanies an in-class workshop about searching digitized 19th century newspapers for political cartoons about the Irish.

Questions? Email the English & Film Studies Librarian:

Here's an example of this kind of research in action: The Rise of Victorian Caricature (available online).

Here's an example of a digital humanities project using an online exhibition tool (Omeka) available through Laurier Library: Canadian Cold War Propaganda Posters


Search Tips

Tip #1 Take Notes and Start Early

  • Try using this Notes Template to track what you do and gather key information for your assignment. This kind of research takes time and concentration, but it's fun!


Tip #2 Use Simple Keywords

  • Use as few terms as possible.
  • Consider the language of the time.
  • Try different term variations (vampire, bloodsucker, monster, devil, criminal).
  • It can be tough to find cartoons by keyword, you often need to browse digitized publications.


Tip #3 Use Search Limits

  • Search limits help control results. You can limit by:
    • Document type (e.g. "editorial cartoon")
    • Date range (e.g. 1800 - 1900) if needed


Where to Search

Digital Newspaper Collections

These collections have scanned and searchable images of newspapers and other periodical publications.

  • 19th Century UK Periodicals
    • Full-text scans of nearly 600 titles sourced from the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, and other specialist libraries. Dates of coverage: 1800-1900.
  • C19: The Nineteenth Century Index
    • Index to books, journals, magazines, official documents and newspapers. Dates of coverage: 1770-1919
  • Illustrated London News
    • The world's first fully illustrated weekly newspaper, The Illustrated London News, was first published on Saturday, May 14, 1842. Dates of coverage: 1842-2003.
  • The Times Digital Archive
    • The Times is considered an authoritative medium for political, legal, business and social news. Dates of coverage: 1875-2014.
  • British Library Newspapers 
    • This digital archive includes 47 papers originating in England, Scotland, and Ireland, carefully selected by an editorial board from the British Library. Dates of coverage: 1800-1900.


Cartoon-Specific Collections


Citing in MLA Style - Template for Political Cartoons

Artist's Last Name, First Name. "Title or Description of Cartoon." Publication Title, date of publication day month year, URL. Accessed on date.

Page Owner: Meredith Fischer

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Last Updated: February 6, 2024 5:22pm