The Importance of Old Newspapers
It might be yellowed and dusty, but dated news still has its uses. Inside those crumbling pages exists a storehouse of valuable information. This is especially true for anyone interested in genealogy. Old newspaper let you see the names of places, descriptions of individuals, and text of obituaries that are otherwise inaccessible. In addition to that, archived newspapers provide a unique view of what the world, or local community, was like on any given day. The Scotsman’s archives provide a treasure trove for any historian, or genealogist, looking into Scotland.
The History of the Scotsman
The brainchild of customs official, Charles Maclaren, and lawyer, William Riche, the weekly version of the Scotsman launched in 1817.The owners hoped to bring a sense of impartiality missing from many other papers at the time. When the government abolished Scotland’s stamp tax in 1850, the weekly paper became a daily one. At the time, the paper sold roughly 6,000 copies a day. Less than ten years after rebranding themselves, the Scotsman moved to their own purpose-built office in Edinburgh.
Canadian millionaire Roy Thomson purchased the Scotsman from its former owners in 1953. He saw this independent Scottish paper as a brick he needed to build a media empire. It stayed under his company’s ownership until it was purchased by David and Frederick Barclay in 1995. However, that company only managed to hold onto the Scotsman for 10 years before selling it to current owners, Johnston Press. In 2012, the Scotsman won Newspaper of the Year. It currently circulates about 20,000 copies a day.
Interesting Facts About the Scotsman
- The former home of Johnston Press, the current owner of the Scotsman, was sold to Rockstar Games in June of 2014.
- In the referendum on Scottish Independence, the Scotsman heavily supported remaining staying in the United Kingdom.
- The Scotsman has had a website since 1998. It currently features news, sports, business, lifestyle, food and drink as its main sections.
- Like the ghosts in Dicken’s The Christmas Carol, the Scotsman offers three different sections relating to analyzing the past, present, and future of Scotland.
- Since its inception, the Scotsman has had 26 different editors.
To find back issues of The Scotsman you can visit the UK historical newspaper archive page.