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The Magic Attic

Local History - Local Heritage - from Local Folk

Registered Charity No 1094124

We hold most bound volumes of original newspapers for the following areas; Burton on Trent (covering Swadlincote), Derby, Alfreton, Ashbourne and Uttoxeter . The papers date from 1782 up to the present day.


In the mid-19th century the abolition of advertisement and newspaper taxes and paper duties prompted a rapid growth of local newspapers in the Burton area. Some of these were short-lived but by 1901, when the county borough came into existence, there were two dailies and three weeklies.

The Burton Mail was Conservative and Unionist, while the papers published by the Tresise family were Liberal.

Today only the Mail survives: the Guardian fell victim to the newsprint shortage in 1916, the Gazette ceased publication in 1932 and the Chronicle was taken over by the Mail/Observer group in 1957.

The format and content of local newspapers changed considerably in the 20th century.  Originally front pages were given over to advertisements and much of the news reported  was national in character. Today's Burton Mail prints mostly local news and only occasionally are national or international events headlined. The change was caused by the  growth of radio and television coverage of the news. Early in the century illustrations were mostly line drawings, but photographs appeared more frequently in the early 1920's.  

The adoption of tabloid form by the Mail on January 12th 1982 produced a newspaper of popular appeal, more convenient to handle and easier to read.

The bound volumes of original newspapers include the following titles;

The History of  Local Newspapers

For a full list of our newspaper copies please click here.

Where original copies are not available some are available on microfiche.

An advertisement for Viking coach trips 1977 - As well as reading up on the news stories, you can also browse the advertisements and other articles to really step back in time.