Project Overview


Our projects

Lancaster's work on the newsbooks in the Thomason Tracts collection has been based around two funded projects.

This project developed a corpus of 800,000 words of newspaper text from the period December 1653 to May 1654 to examine the extent, and nature, of text re-use in this early stage of English journalism.

Funded by the British Academy, grant reference SG-33825.

We developed a full electronic version of the highly idiosyncratic newsbook title Mercurius Fumigosus, running to a total of around 130,000 words. Investigation of key terms in this corpus has revealed the complex slang-like code used by the writer, John Crouch, to disguise explicit sexual or scatological content as whimsy or as nonsense stories and poems.

Funded by the British Academy, grant reference LRG-35423.


The Newsbooks projects at Lancaster have been led by Tony McEnery and Andrew Hardie. Historical expertise was contributed by Michael Seymour and, in particular, Helen Baker, who contributed the background document on the Glencairn Uprising published here. James Harris worked extensively with the Mercurius Fumigosus material to develop the dictionary of slang terminology presented on this website.


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