Conference Programme: 17th Century Journalism in the Digital Age

Seventeenth-Century Journalism and the Digital Age

University of Sheffield, 22 November 2014

Jessop West, Exhibition Space


9 – 9.15: Introductions

9.15-11: News Practices (Chair: Mike Braddick)

Alex Barber (University of Durham), ‘Scribal news in an age of print’

Marcus Nevitt (University of Sheffield), ‘Searching the Classifieds: Mercurius Politicus and the Development of the Book Advertisement’

Jason Peacey (UCL), ‘”Fit to help to fill the gazette”: corpus analysis and journalistic practices in 1650s England’.

11-11.15 Coffee

11.15-1: The Politics of News (Chair: Marcus Nevitt)

Mike Braddick (University of Sheffield), ‘John Hammond and the news business’

Lloyd Bowen (University of Cardiff), ‘Things Not Said: Royalists and Loyalists in Seventeenth-Century News Culture’

Angela McShane, (V&A Museum, London), ‘Broadsides, Upsides and Downsides: Researching the Politics of Song using Digital Resources’

1-1.45 Lunch


1.45-3.30: News Recording and Transmission (Chair Jason Peacey)

Kirsty Rolfe (University of Oxford), ‘Cliffhangers and catastrophes: reporting military disaster in the 1620s’

Noah Millstone (University of Bristol), ‘Designed for Collection: Early Modern News and the Production of History’

Joad Raymond (QMUL) ‘Why is it a News Network?’

3.30-3.45 Coffee


3.45-5.15: News and Search Technology (Chair: Mike Pidd)

Andrew Hardie (University of Lancaster), ‘The affordances of corpus linguistic annotation and query systems in approaching Early Modern English texts’.

Keira Borrill, Louise Sorensen & Bridgette Wessels (University of Sheffield), ‘Participating in Search Design’: A Project Overview’

Stuart Beach (ProQuest), ‘A Content Provider’s Perspective’

5.15: Close


CONFERENCE: 17th Century Journalism in the Digital Age

Saturday 22 November, 10 am – 5.30 pm

University of Sheffield, Jessop West Exhibition Space

It is well known that the advent of Early English Books Online represented a revolutionary moment in early modern studies. EEBO vastly increased access to valuable primary research materials and, in conjunction with the Text Creation Partnership, has enabled scholars from a wide variety of disciplines to conduct enquiries into rare, frequently far-flung printed materials. It is scarcely imaginable, now, that the ability to check a reference at the click of a mouse, or to conduct nuanced keyword or image searches of the c.150,000 items listed in the Pollard and Redgrave or Wing Short-Title catalogues and the British Library’s Thomason Tracts collection were impossible just fifteen years ago.

For all of these momentous developments, the serials, news pamphlets and periodicals reproduced by EEBO have yet to benefit from the full search functionality of the main EEBO interface. Scholars interested in early modern newsprint are thus frequently limited in the kinds of research they can conduct on these vital materials, whether in a library or at their desktop.

This one-day conference brings together scholars from the Digital Humanities, English Literature, History and Linguistics to reflect upon their research into early printed news (their results, their methods and search practices) and interrogate the ways in which current digital search interfaces might be thought to shape, enhance or constrain research in this area.

This conference is part of Sheffield’s ‘Participating in Search Design’ AHRC project (

Speakers include: Alex Barber,  Lloyd Bowen, Mike Braddick, Rachel Foxley, Andrew Hardie, Angela McShane, Noah Millstone, Marcus Nevitt, Jason Peacey, Joad Raymond and Kirsty Rolfe.

Places at this conference can be reserved online at:

Full delegate £7.50; concessions £5.

For further information contact Marcus Nevitt (


To view this in PDF format please see:

Design Group 1

Following a very successful Interaction Analysis Workshop several weeks ago, today we are holding our first design group which we’ve called ‘Working towards advanced search: search functionality and conceptual models underpinning search’. Once again we will be observing, recording and discussing research practices, focusing on aspects of advanced search interface and functionality. We will be using the Thomason newsbooks source material to identify research questions and approaches and start to come up with some design ideas for the HRI to work with.

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Interaction Analysis Workshop

The Design Phase of the project has begun. We have 5 participants from various relevant disciplines and today we are holding a preliminary interaction analysis workshop during which we will observe, record and discuss research/search practices. These videos will then be reviewed by HRI technical staff – coming from a different perspective, they are sure to spot things we don’t.

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Project Restart!

Participating in Search Design is back in business. We’re really looking forward to getting started with the Design Group phase after a successful pilot session at the National Library of Wales looking at the development of the library’s World War I digital resource –


Project on hold until November

Our Project Officer is now on maternity leave. The project will be on hold in the meantime, restarting in early November when we will be organising user design workshops to create the test newsbooks resource.

Digital Humanities Congress 6th – 8th September 2012

A paper entitled “Participating in Search Design: Understanding Scholarly Practices” will be given at the Humanities Research Institute’s Digital Humanities Congress on Thursday 6th September at the University of Sheffield.

We will be reporting on the first phase; explaining the aims, objectives and methodology of the project and presenting a summary of data gathered from the landscape survey and focus groups.

For more details visit:

Focus Group in London 19.06.12

The project is holding its first focus group in London on Tuesday 19th June 2012 at the Courtauld Institute, Somerset House from 2 – 4 pm. We’re looking for academics and PhD students in the fields of History, English Language and Literature, Politics and Journalism to take part. The session will take the form of an informal discussion about how you go about your own research. If you are able to attend please contact Keira Borrill for more details:

Survey now closed: 500+ responses received!

The Research Practice Survey is now closed. Many thanks to all who responded as we managed to achieve just over 500 responses in total, which is great. We’re now in the process of analysing the results and the final report will be posted here in the near future. Our next task is establishing focus groups to dig deeper into research practices.

Survey respondants needed!

We’re still in need of PhD students and academics in the research areas of History, English Language, English Literature, Politics and Journalism to respond to our 10 minute Academic Research Practice survey. Your responses are very important to the project. Please follow the link below: