Monday 6 March 2017

The Irish Society & Social Review joins BNA database

The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) has added the Irish Society and Social Review to its online database. It's also joined the Irish Newspaper Collection of FindMyPast. The paper, with a masthead that swung over the years from gaily flamboyant to stylised art deco elegance, and back again, was the 'only Society Journal in Ireland' and claimed a 'Guaranteed largest circulation in Ireland of any Society Paper Published in the UK'.

It doesn't trouble itself with political or world news. Instead, it concentrates on the taxing issues of keeping up with fashions, whether that be for clothing ('White goat fur is very fashionable on evening cloaks') or wedding stationery, and reporting on what little Lord Fauntleroy wore to his cousin Figgy's fancy dress party. The opening of the fishing season in Waterford was deemed worthy of an 1893 report with all the participants suitably mentioned, with similar treatment applied to an outing by the Kildare Hounds, numerous balls, receptions and 'at home' events and, of course, society funerals.

Advertising takes up about half the pages of the paper and include promotions for many of the items you'd expect to be in demand by the idle rich: dancing and deportment classes, upcoming orchestra concerts, diagonal seam corsets, milliners, fur coats, hotel accommodation, health remedies and, for the skivvy, grate polish supplies.

The BNA plans the holding for this newspaper to run from 1888 to 1924. So far, 535 editions of the weekly title have been uploaded, dating from 1889 to June 1924, so it's nearly complete.