…is the title of an exhaustive survey of the Burney newspaper collection in The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 104:1 2010 p. 5-52. The original collection, purchased from the library of the Rev. Dr. Charles Burney (1757-1817), actually begins with Parliamentary papers from 1603 (the earliest newspapers date from the early 1620s). However it is strongest in 18th-century London newspapers. The digital collection allows full-text searching with access to nearly a million pages of newspapers, pamphlets, and broadsides. The survey of the collection is undertaken from the perspective of the literary scholar, looking at research training and possible uses of the collection as well as pointing out practical problems and limitations of the resource.
Research issues such as book prices and reception of particular authors are explored. Included is a case study of John Rich (1692–1761), pantomime artist and theatre manager: the case study discovers new information about his social status, royal connections, and family.
Some problems are outlined in detail, such as false dates, and erratic search results (largely as result of searching OCR material).