Internet Library of Early Journals


a digital library of 18th and 19th Century journals


The library offers digitised version of three 18th Century journals, namely: Gentleman's Magazine, The Annual Register, and Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society. And, three 19th Century Journals: Notes and Queries, The Builder, and Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine.

The project was a joint effort between the Universities of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, and Oxford. It was concluded in 1999, hence the site's 90's outdated set up. Apart from The Builder, the project offers a consecutive 20 year run for each journal.


Overview of The Journals


taken from the about page of ILEJ


Gentleman's Magazine started in 1731, a Britain-focused miscellany of information about people, places and events, including news summaries, parliamentary reports, biographies and obituary notices, poems, essays, and a register of current publications.

Annual Register started in 1758, an annual survey of European and world events from a British perspective, but including biographical notices, parliamentary and legal reports, and some book reviews, divided into topical sections with chronological sub-divisions.

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society started in 1660, initially as a forum for the publication of scientific papers of both a general and a specialised nature, although increasingly a learned journal carrying refereed papers from established scientists.

Notes and Queries started in 1849, "a medium of intercommunication for literary men, artists, antiquaries, genealogists, etc.", carrying brief reports of completed research on humanities and related subjects and questions inviting answers in subsequent issues.

The Builder started in 1843, a mine of information on domestic and foreign building developments from the perspective of the architect, engineer, constructor and art historian, including accounts of new buildings, materials, processes and books, and articles on ancient monuments and other historic buildings.

Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine started in 1817 (as a Tory rival to the Whig Edinburgh Review), a medium for imaginative literature, publishing English poetry, essays and especially prose fiction, and pioneering the presentation of European literature (particularly German) to a British audience.