Newspapers are often regarded as the most important apparatus to glimpse into the past. They allow us to pinpoint factual events that may have been ignored without thorough documentation by newspapers. Contemporary sources give an insight into different attitudes in different historical periods, early newspapers the most significantly. The Daily Mail is an example of one of these important historical sources.

The History

The first publication of The Daily Mail hit newsagents in Britain on the 4th of May 1896. The Daily Mail delivered the news in a much more concise and populist manner than its rivals, perfect for the new busy generation of the late Victorian era. The newspaper was created by Alfred and Harold Harmsworth, pioneers of the journalism that we have come to know and love today. The Daily Mail described themselves as "A Penny Newspaper for One Halfpenny", priding themselves on providing an array of subject matter for their readers. Everything from sport to women’s interest was included in the early Daily Mail newspapers, something very unique and unusual for its time. A sister paper, The Mail on Sunday, was released in 1982.

Highlights and curiosities about The Daily Mail

  • By the end of the Boer War, The Daily Mail had become the most popular newspaper in circulation worldwide at one million copies sold per day
  • £1000 was offered by The Daily Mail to the first person who could fly across the English Channel and £10,000 to the first to fly from London to Manchester. Many thought this was ridiculous but both prizes were won by 1910!
  • In 1924, The Daily Mail printed the controversial Zinoviev Letter that indicated the possibility of a communist uprising in Britain, similar to the one in Russia.
  • Notably, the early Daily Mail newspaper had a history of fascist support. In an article, Harold Harmsworth commented: "minor misdeeds of individual Nazis will be submerged by the immense benefits that the new regime is already bestowing upon Germany”.
  • The Daily Mail has a history of running rather controversial headlines. For example, on 16 July 1993, the newspaper headlined "abortion hope after 'gay genes' finding”, unsurprisingly receiving a lot of backlash.
  • The Daily Mail has been heavily criticised for inaccurate stories about health and medicine. Ben Goldacre commented on the "ongoing project to divide all the inanimate objects in the world into ones that either cause or prevent cancer” in 2010.
  • The Daily Mail’s MailOnline has become the most read online newspaper service with an average of 11.7 million visitors daily.
  • 77% of The Daily Mail readers are women, making it the only British newspaper with women making up more than half of their readership.

How to explore The Daily Mail archive and get The Daily Mail back issues

To find back issues of The Daily Mail or to check availability of the newspaper, follow these steps:

  1. Visit "The Daily Mail" Newspaper Archive page 
  2. Select your date
  3. Determine your desired newspaper and edition.
  4. Choose your Gift Pack
  5. If your purchase is a gift, make sure to add their name to the certificate of authenticity along with your chosen date and message.