NEWS RELEASE: Unlimited access for schools to the world’s greatest illustrated magazine archives and how art changed the way news was reported

Illustrated London News Ltd announces a new opportunity for schools (teachers and students) to gain access to the unique digital archives of the world’s leading illustrated magazines.

6 May 2020

by Lisa Barnard

You can view the full brochure here or on the following link: htps://

Special edition of the Illustrated London News to celebrate the end of World War II. Date, 1945


This provides the background detail on why these resources are relevant for students aged 11-18 and history departments in particular.  Access to the archives is now available to secondary schools at an affordable price on an annual subscription basis, for which schools can access two separate digital archives, totalling 1.3 million pages, and is accompanied by free teaching and studying resources.  Until now these two collections have been offered primarily to Further Education institutes, including universities, and museums around the world, and they have never been offered to schools as a package.


Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II (1926 – ) and her younger sister Princess Margaret Rose (1930 – 2002) pictured together. An exclusive photographic sitting of the royal family specially granted to the Illustrated London News to mark their centenary at that time. Date: 1942


Lisa Barnard, Chief Executive of Illustrated London News Ltd, said: “We have had a lot of feedback from teachers that they would love to be able to access to relevant resources to replace the over-used standard ones, especially from textbooks and exam papers. Given the COVID-19 situation, we wanted to make this happen right away and we were able to do so. We are fortunate that our collections are image-led – that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is still the case today.  We hope to inspire and create a new generation of history and cultural detectives, unearthing fascinating and exciting material.


Front cover of The Sphere designed by Fortunino Matania, for its Egypt number containing more news on the discoveries of Tutankhamen’s tomb in Luxor, Egypt as well as historical reconstructions by Matania. Date: 1923


“The ILN became the television of its day and allowed the public for the first time not just to be able to read about British and world events, but to ‘see’ them. This method of employing ‘Special Artists’ who were sent to produce finished illustrations was a concept which changed the concept of journalism. This was not art for art’s sake. This was art for news’ sake.”


In a British dug-out, soldiers raise their glasses and wish themselves luck for the coming battle. Date, 1917


Chronicling the changing world throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the publications in these fascinating pictorial archives are the most well-known, varied and visual in British periodical publishing history. Originally under the umbrella of The Illustrated London News, there are 10 titles in total in these combined collections, all considered to be among the foremost popular journals of their respective periods. The archives will be an invaluable tool across the curriculum, bringing a wealth of material to lessons, especially history, but also relevant to other subjects such as English Literature, science, art, media and drama.


Photograph showing Captain Scott and his sledge team at the South Pole, 18th January 1912. Left to right, standing: Lt. Oates, Captain Scott, Petty Officer Evans. Seated, left to right: Lt. Bowers and Dr. Wilson. This photograph was taken by Lt. Bowers, using a remote shutter release, the string of which can be seen in his right hand. Captain Scott’s party reached the Pole to find that Amundsen had beaten them to it; hence the somewhat dejected expressions. Date: 1913


Through our two educational publishing partners Cengage/Gale and ProQuest, you can choose to subscribe to a single archive, The Illustrated London News, the world’s first illustrated newspaper spanning 1842-2003, or the 9 sister titles, or both.  In light of the COVID-19 situation and the increased need for schools to offer remote teaching and promote online studying, we are also providing free teaching and study resources, including adaptable PowerPoints, videos and webinars. These have been designed for conventional classroom use as well as remote online teaching.

For further information and more images available in high-res please contact Lisa Barnard – [email protected]

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