The Entries

       Here is an explanation of the 26 fields or categories descriptive of each periodical and appearing on the `Search Results' page. That page displays only those fields for which data is available.

     The main entry is always the earliest known title of a periodical, 
     Even if prior to 1800.  When a title is generic, such as Proceedings      
     or Annual Report, then the title appears as the earliest name of the 
     issuing body, such as University of London.  When one title absorbs
     another, each of the absorbed titles also appears as a separate main
     entry, with the merge noted in both places. 
Sub-Issuing Body
     In the event that the main entry is an issuing body, and that a 
     sub-group such as a committee or department (for example the Biology
     Department of the University of Cambridge) is responsible for the
     publication, then this sub-group appears as a ‘sub-issuing body’. 
Later Title
     All changes of title for each publication are listed, even prior to 
     1800 and after 1900.  These titles also appear alphabetically in the 
     Title Index so that a reader can locate a publication through any 
     one of its associated titles or issuing bodies.  Issue numbers and 
     dates are provided for the title changes if available.  Wrapper      
     titles, which often are a shortened form of the title, are noted in the 
     'Comments' field (see below), and are cross-referenced in the Title 
     Index.  About one-fifth of the titles listed here, which is to say 
     5,182 of the 27,564 entries in the Title Index, are ’later titles'.  
     Generally these are so different from the earlier title as to be 
     completely new publications.

        Because the later titles are included in the Title Index, the      
     reader who asks for a later title will be presented with the first or 
     main title, and be directed to that record.   This may be confusing,
     especially if the reader is not aware that the title requested is a
     later title, to be found in the middle of the record presented.
Generic Title
     Many publications are given generic titles, such as Minutes, Annual
     Report, Magazine or Newsletter.  In these cases the publication is
     usually listed alphabetically under the name of the issuing body (for 
     example, The Salvation Army).  Often a date is provided for the 
     changes in generic title. 
     Publication dates are linked to the numbering.  The terminal issue
     numbers and dates of each publication are provided under this 'Sub-
     Title' field, whether or not the periodical has a sub-title.  When I
     have not been able to confirm the date of the first number, I have
     listed the earliest number for which a date can be confirmed.  So the
     first recorded issue of a title may be several months or even years
     into its publication history, and indicated as:
                 No 7; date: Feb 1834 
     Dates appear in the form: day/month/year: 01 Jul 1894.

         Where possible, changes of sub-title are date-identified.  In
     some cases, date or 'run-information' appears under the Then title 
     field as well, especially where there are several title changes.
         Often the first and sometimes even the second issue of a 
     periodical is a prospectus, perhaps a single page.  On occasion a 
     publishing venture aborted after the prospectus, perhaps because 
     expected support failed to materialise or funding proved inadequate.  
         Sometimes the issue numbering may run concurrently with
     the volume numbering, as in the quarterly described as:
             Vol 1 No 1 - Vol 9 No 36, Mar 1851 - Jan 1860
     or issue numbering may begin anew with each volume, as in:
             Vol l No 1 - Vol 43 No 7, Oct 1894 - Apr 1936
         Publications may be numbered in series as well as in numbers and 
     volumes.  Various series numbering methods occur.  So for instance,
     the second series may be labelled New Series (ns), or Series Two (s2); 
     a third series may appear as New Series Two (ns2) or Series Three 
     (s3).  Where confusion may arise this Directory labels the second 
     series as (2s) with a date, whatever appears on the title page of the 
     periodical, and the third series as (3s), etc.

         A double slash indicates the publication is known to have
     Terminated at the last date recorded, as in: 29 Jul 1862//.  When
     periodicals run into the twentieth century and their end date is
     unknown,it is indicated as 1900+.  Readers often will find a year
     appearing in parenthesis after various elements descriptive of a
     publication, such as the editor, cost, frequency, and so on.  Such
     dates indicate that the information provided is known to be valid
     for that date, but may have changed in other years, as:
             Editor: Walter Johnson (1837)
     Place of publication is listed by both town and county, for the
     convenience of index searches by either. Large cities, such as London
     and Manchester, which are likely to have incorporated several smaller
     nineteenth century towns, are listed as both a town and a county.
     Sometimes several places of publication are listed, and occasionally
     several places at a single time, in the case of simultaneous
     publication in two or more cities.  For some centres, a city suburb
     is given, such as `London (E.C.)'.   However, the Place Index entry 
     'London (& all suburbs)' includes all listings sub-indicated by 
     suburb, for a total of some 13,200 titles published there. 
         When an English place of publication occurs for any issue in the 
     life of a periodical, all other places of its issue are usually 
     recorded.  So European and North American cities as well as Irish, 
     Scottish, Welsh, European, North American places may also appear in
     this field, and in the PLACE INDEX. 

         Occasionally a newspaper is partially printed in Scotland but 
     published in England.  For example, the first two pages of Highland 
     Sentinel are local news added to copies prepared for Scottish 
     distribution, although the rest of the paper is published in London.  
     These titles are listed as both Scottish and English.  A very few 
     titles with primarily English content but published abroad are
     included in this directory for the convenience of readers not aware 
     of their origin.  Places where a periodical was circulated are listed 
     in Comments field (and occasionally in the sub-title) rather than in
     the Place field.
     One or more editors may be identified.  Where possible a date is 
     listed at which the editor is known to have held the post. This date      
     does not indicate the entire span of editorship.  All editors' names 
     appear in the People Index.
Proprietor, Publisher, Printer
     These may be individuals or organizations.  The distinction between
     them is often uncertain.  All appear in the People Index.
     This field lists people contributing in a variety of ways, perhaps as
     authors or reporters, perhaps as production staff.   All the names
     appear in the People Index.
     Most of the entries in this field are variations of names appearing
     in other fields, identified for purposes of clarity and computer 
     sorting.  Other names may be of people associated with the publication 
     in ways which we have not been able to determine: perhaps as 
     production staff, perhaps as part-owners, directors, or functionaries 
     in an issuing body.  All appear in the People Index.
     The size is generally measured in centimetres from the top to the
     bottom of a page.  The total number of pages and the number of pages 
     of advertising, supplements or appendix are given where known.  
     Sometimes the traditional sizing by folio, quarto, octavo, etc. is 
     used when available.  These are listed with their metrical equivalents 
     in the Introduction Menu's list of abbreviations.
     Usually the issue price appears in sterling, as shillings (s) and 
     pence (d).  Sometimes the price is marked as stamped or unstamped,         
     and occasionally includes the subscription rate. 
     Circulation figures suggest the extent of readership, although these
     figures are seldom reliable.  Readers ought to remember that editors
     may have inflated circulation figures for advertising purposes. 
     Library or family copies might be read many times over.  When the
     figures are given as annual stamp returns, then readers of this
     Directory must consider the frequency and period of publication.  The
     place of circulation is given in the Comments field, and sometimes
     appears as part of the subtitle (in the case of newspapers). 
     For the purposes of this Directory a periodical is defined as any
     publication which at its inception was intended to appear at regular
     intervals for an indefinite period of time, at least once a year.  So
     election publications, serial works such as multi-part novels, and
     government committee reports are generally excluded. 

         Anomalies do occur: the editor has generally included titles which 
     other authorities, such as the British Union Catalogue of Periodicals 
     or the card catalogues of major libraries, accept as periodicals.  
     These include titles which ceased or became irregular after one or two
     issues, as was often the case with annual directories, and a few 
     titles which appeared every two years.  

         Frequency of publication often changes several times over the
     life span of a periodical.
     This field indicates whether the illustrations are black and white or
     colour, and sometimes whether woodcuts, engravings, lithographs, or
     photographs.  Occasionally only the advertisements are illustrated. 
     Maps and tables are also indicated here. 
Issuing Body
     Both issuing bodies and sub-issuing bodies are provided, such as the
     University of London and the Department of Mathematics.  Where the
     title of a publication is generic rather than distinctive, such as 
     Report or Journal, the issuing body is listed as the main title.
     Both internal indexes (per issue, volume or cumulation) and external
     indexes (such as The Wellesley Index of Victorian Periodicals) are
     This field describes the various sections or columns of a journal.  
     The information generally has been found in the publication's Table         
     of Contents.
     This field refers to the religious or political perspective of the
     publication, such as Conservative, Liberal, Radical, Masonic, 
     Catholic, Evangelical.  When changes occur (from Radical to Liberal,      
     for instance), a date is generally provided.  Occasionally a title 
     will swing dramatically from one orientation to another.  Where
     known, the dates of such swings are provided.
     Information here is often anecdotal, sometimes quoted from the
     publication itself or from secondary sources. Hints are provided for
     readers who wish to pursue the history of the publication further. 
     Names of contributors, correspondents and illustrators are listed 
     when available.
     This field lists other publications or issuing bodies which absorbed 
     or were absorbed by the main entry.  All titles in this field also 
     appear in the TITLE INDEX for the convenience of the researcher 
     looking for links between members of a family of publications.
     The directory lists other authorities, such as Mitchell's Newspaper
     Press Directory or the British Union Catalogue of Books, which
     help to confirm the existence or location of a periodical. One of
     the most common sources is an advertisement for one title, appearing      
     in the pages of another.
     In this field appear publications which provide longer comments on a
     periodical or newspaper.
     This Directory is not intended to be a union list.  However, I hope
     by the end of the series to provide sufficient locations for the 
     reader to find every issue of each title, as well as a selection of 
     locations if numerous collections exist.  In this first series the 
     location data is very imperfect, to become completed only as all
     major UK libraries are visited.  Other union lists which record 
     locations for a title are also noted in the location field of that 

        The term imp or imperfect indicates that a few issues have 
     missing or damaged pages. The term partial indicates that some  
     issues are missing.  The term incomplete indicates that many 
     are missing. These are the distinctions used by the British Library
         A list of library codes, addresses and phone numbers, together
     with an index to libraries, is found in the Libraries section of
     the main menu. The library codes used are those established by the 
     British Library; smaller libraries not listed in the British Library’s
     Directory of Library Codes code book have been assigned codes which are
     intended to be self-explanatory. 

      The title pages for some 5000 publications are included in this Directory.

      I am grateful to the University of London, to the British Library and especially to Mr. Geoffrey Smith, of the Colindale Newspaper Library branch of the British Library, for permission to reproduce these title pages.


      ALL of the records herein have incomplete information. Many of them have obviously faulty information. Some of these incompletions and errors have occurred in the handling of this vast amount of data. However, most of them are due to the editor's need to rely on a great many different sources using quite different standards and criteria themselves. Even this attempt to standardise the methods of description raises new kinds of error. Many of these will be corrected as an increasing number of titles are read at shelf-side over the next few years of this project.

      The reader is reminded that to provide data in any field for a publication which may have run for months, years, or decades, is to risk misleading researchers. This is because only a minute amount of information is available for each title—whereas the reader is inclined to assume thoroughness, if only because of the massiveness of the project, even in its currently limited form.

      The advantage of producing a series of publications such as this Waterloo Directory is that corrections are possible at every stage for every title. However, even when the editor reads a dozen issues of a decade-long weekly or monthly, the information to be found is limited and inconsistent with that of other issues. The fluidity of periodicals is such that most issues are bibliographically distinct from each other, and are in fact separate publications.

      The patience of the reader is asked for these faults. The editor's experience is that his assumptions about what the data ought to be are often wrong, however compelling the logic. This continues to be so, after more than thirty years of work on periodicals bibliography.

      Finally, I quote from Sir Frank Francis: "Information in hand, however imperfectly presented, is more important to the user than the promise of an ideally compiled work which may never be completed."

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