Join the RSVP Digital Events committee for our next “Pick-A-Periodical” event on May 5 at 10 a.m. CST / 11 a.m. EST / 4 p.m. GMT! During this informal session, our host Patrick Leary will open up a discussion on a fascinating but little-known trade journal, Press News.
Everyone in the periodicals trade called it “Press News,” but the full title of this now obscure periodical bristled with broader ambitions: “The London, Colonial, and Provincial Press News.” In an almost 50-year run that began in 1866, Press News aimed to be much more than simply a trade journal for the printing trade, although it was certainly that, too. Under the direction of founder William Dorrington (1816-1894)–who in his long career had moved easily among his roles as printer, poet, dramatist, journalist, and editor–the paper covered the “news” of everything to do with the world of Victorian magazines and newspapers. For historians today, Press News offers up a literary history of late-Victorian Britain and its empire as seen from the print-shop floor.
Register Here and Join Us May 5
All RSVP digital events are free and open to the public. Complete the brief registration form below to receive the Zoom link.
An Informal Yet Informative Collaborative Discussion
During our time together, Patrick will lead an informal ramble through Dorrington’s extraordinary but little-known journal to see what it can tell us about its time, and how its expansive notion of “the literary world” might inform our own understanding of 19th-century journalism. After this preamble, we hope the ensuing discussion will lean not just on Patrick’s insights but also observations from our audience members.
To that end, we highly encourage individuals to peruse the three volumes of Press News freely available on Hathitrust ahead of the event. Whether you want to quickly glance through one volume or deeply examine one or all three is completely up to you, of course. We know how busy you are. Things you might consider:
- What articles or imagery stands out to you?
- How does the structure or content contribute to Dorrington’s ambitious vision for the periodical?
- How do the formal or informal elements of the magazine characterize his intended audience? What does it say about their interests?
- What do we gain by “reading sideways” as suggested by Linda Hughes?
These are just a few questions to get you started, and by no means do we expect anyone to spend more of their precious time on this exercise than they want to. We merely hope to enrich our collective understanding of what makes 19th-century periodicals so rewarding as both objects and subjects of study.