Archives and Special Collections

Leicester Mercury Archive

About the Collection

The Leicester Mercury Archive at the University of Leicester now comprises the following sequences of material:

  • Photographic prints organised by subject
  • Cuttings files organised by surname and subject
  • Administrative material

The collection covers events reported from the 1960s-1990s only, and does not include copies of the newspapers themselves. 

The archive documents the history of Leicester and Leicestershire during the second half of the twentieth century. Prior to its transfer to the University, it formed a working newspaper library at the paper's offices in St George's Street. Until the mid-1990s stories were cut from the paper on a daily basis and filed by subject for future reference.

The print collection contains photographs printed for publication in the newspaper, many of which have been retouched or carry crop marks. Therefore, as well as providing a record of local events and personalities, the collection provides insights into the workings of a local newsroom during the late twentieth century.

How to search

The Leicester Mercury Archive is a large collection and work to catalogue it is ongoing. You can search catalogued series via our Archives Catalogue. To restrict your search to the Mercury collection choose Advanced Search and enter 'LMA' into the Document Reference Number field. 

How to access

Our rare books and archives are open to all and can be consulted in the Special Collections reading room. Find out how to book your place and order material or contact us for help locating material relevant to your research. Due to the volume of uncatalogued material in the Leicester Mercury Archive and its offsite storage location it may take us up to two weeks to answer your enquiry in full. 

There are several other ways of accessing content from the Leicester Mercury that may help you to find information more quickly than using our archive. The entire back run of the newspaper from 1874-1996 can be searched and viewed on the British Newspaper Archive and Find My Past (paid subscriptions apply). Some local library services provide free access to these resources from library computers, including Leicestershire County Council. The British Newspaper Archive can be accessed free of charge in the British Library reading rooms at St Pancras and Boston Spa. 

Both the British Newspaper Archive and Find My Past can be accessed by registered users at the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. Visitors to the Record Office can also consult back runs of local newspapers on microfilm, which can sometimes be easier to navigate than the websites. For further information and contact details visit the Record Office website. 

The photographic negatives of the Leicester Mercury have been transferred to Mirrorpix, part of Reach Plc. You can contact them by phone on 020 7293 3700 or email Mirrorpix can assist with enquiries where the name or subject of a photograph is known, along with an approximate date the image was taken. 

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