The Sunday Express Archive: Back Issue Newspapers

The Sunday Express Archive: Back Issue Newspapers

Why Should I Bother Reading Old Newspapers?

Since the Acta Diurna publication in 1605, newspapers have been vital sources of information . Before the advent of radio and television, papers were there only way to learn about current events. By cracking open old newspaper archives, you can see the world through the lens of people of that time.  In doing so, you’ll gain a better understanding of history, the community, and even, perhaps, yourself.  Reading old issues of The Sunday Express, the weekend version of The Daily Express, will help you understand the rumors of the day, the week, or the decade.

The History of the Sunday Express / Daily Express

The Sunday Express published its first issue in 1918. Much like its parent paper, The Daily Express, it experienced great prosperity throughout the 1920s and 1930s. This success was helped along by the skilled leadership of paper owner, Lord Beaverbrook, and gifted editor, Arthur Christiansen. During the periods of its greatest prosperity, the paper strongly advocated the appeasement policies of the Chamberlain government.

In 1938, the paper moved to Manchester to continue publication.Ten years later, at the peak of his control and a bit maddened by power, Beaverbrook told the royal commission that his papers solely existed for "creating propoganda". That fact, however, didn’t stop his readers from tuning in every Sunday.  Following Beaverbrook’s death in 1964, The Sunday Express experienced falling circulation rates.

The rejuvenation of rival paper The Daily Mail and emergence of The Sun made things worse for the ailing company. By 1984, The Sunday Express saw its sales halved. After a hostile takeover in 1985, United Newspapers took control of the failing paper and all its property and changed its name of the Sunday edition to The Express on Sunday. Under the leadership of United’s Lord Stevens, the paper returned to profit until it once again switched hands in 2000.  At that time, the paper’s ownership moved to the owner of a variety of softcore pornography publications, Richard Desmond. This decision, and Desmond’s somewhat “rogue” personality, led the paper into a mire of controversy, libel cases, and lawsuits. In 2010, all Express publications were excluded from the Press Complaints Commission.

At this time, The Express circulates just twenty-five percent of their long-standing rival, The Daily Mail.

Interesting Facts About the Sunday Express


  • The Express was the first British paper to feature a crossword puzzle.

  • The Sunday Express has had 13 different editors since its first issue.

  • Between 2008 and 2009, The Express set a record for libel damages paid out by a newspaper in a single year; the amount totaled around 1.5 million pounds.

  • The Express was the only paper to defend suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams.

  • Though it lost most its rights in 2005, the paper still retains a 33.3-percent ownership in the Rupert the Bear comic strip.


Sunday Express’ Archives


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


  • Visit the Historical Newspapers archive page

  • Choose your desired date.

  • Choose your desired newspaper and edition.

  • Select the pack you wish to purchase.

  • Make sure to add a name to the certificate of authenticity along with your chosen date and message if the purchase is a gift.








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