Dean Forest Mercury and the BNA (General)

by Mike Pinchin @, Bedford, England, Friday, March 08, 2019, 22:50 (453 days ago)

Some time ago I inquired of the British Newspaper Archive whether they had any plans to add the Dean Forest Mercury or related titles to the Archive. The answer came back that there were no such plans.

I don’t quite know why I didn’t notice this before but they do offer a facility whereby it is possible to vote for publications to be considered for inclusion. The Mercury appears in the current list of candidates but occupies a fairly lowly place. It struck me that Forum users (if they have not already done so) might like to add their votes to try and advance the cause.

It does not appear to be necessary to be registered with the BNA to vote. The price of voting seems to be the supply of an email address which they will no doubt use to promote their wares.

We should bear in mind that even if they wanted to image this publication there might be copyright hurdles to overcome.

Dean Forest Mercury and the BNA

by probinson @, S. Oxon, Saturday, March 09, 2019, 08:10 (453 days ago) @ Mike Pinchin

Seems you get 10 votes to cast and can add maximum of three to any publication. I've added three.

Good idea Mike.


Dean Forest Mercury and the BNA

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Saturday, March 09, 2019, 16:23 (453 days ago) @ probinson

Well done Mike, get's my vote too.

As I mentioned a few months ago the original DFMs are now in the hands of a Cinderford Town Councillor Mark Turner, who helps run the "Old Industry & History of the FoD" Facebook Group. Several members of the group, some of whom are on this Forum, have stressed the importance to conserve and digitise these old papers, especially as I'm told the microfiche copies at Cinderford library are not as good or as complete as they might be. We've suggested they consider working with the BNA in this respect, but I have no idea what Mark's plans are, I suspect it will come down to available resources.
I'll try and find out more.

Thanks again, Jeff.

Dean Forest Mercury and the BNA

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Saturday, March 09, 2019, 23:02 (452 days ago) @ Mike Pinchin

Hi again Mike,
very briefly, do you know how the finances work ?.

My GUESS is the BNA aka FindMyPast would shoulder all the digitising costs, and then hope to recoup them in subscription revenue to their site. I also assume they pay the owner's of the actual papers, and maybe even buy the copywrite. But somehow I doubt it's that simple.


I have read thro' the various help-pages in the BNA website but no clues there that I could see.

Many thanks, Jeff

Dean Forest Mercury and the BNA

by Mike Pinchin @, Bedford, England, Sunday, March 10, 2019, 10:11 (452 days ago) @ Jefff

Hi Jeff,

The intricacies of the finances are a mystery to me. Since the Archive was set up in 2011 as a joint venture between the British Library and Brightsolid/Findmypast (both these latter being D.C.Thomson ventures) I had always assumed that the publishing companies shouldered the cost of imaging with a view to recouping this via subscriptions and licensing to other organizations. I gather that there was some wailing and gnashing of teeth at this arrangement since other countries consider this kind of material part of their national heritage and, as such, make it available free of charge. I guess the BL did not have the resources to run a free on-line service itself.

Dean Forest Mercury and the BNA

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Sunday, March 10, 2019, 20:48 (452 days ago) @ Mike Pinchin

Hi Mike,
thanks for that, looks like we're both confused then.
Maybe rather than a set system the BNA treat each case on it's merit as t'were, aka pay the least they can get away with. I asked as was hoping to be able to go to Mark Turner and thus presumably the local Council, who I guess are the true owners of the old Mercurys with a clear easy option, oh naive fool that I am haha.

Somehow I knew it couldn't be that simple..

cheers sir.

Dean Forest Mercury and the BNA

by Gary37, Monday, March 11, 2019, 10:54 (451 days ago) @ Jefff

Not strictly relevant to the post but The Forest Review have their own archives which they tell me anybody can go and browse without appointment.

Dean Forest Mercury and the BNA; Review.

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 02:03 (450 days ago) @ Gary37

Thanks Gary, handy as that covers more uptodate news than the BNA does.
Also a little ironic seeing as The Forester, aka the modern D.F.Mercury, is owned by Tindle Group who also supply the Reviews etc, which surprised me when I found out only a few years back.

The Reviews started off in 1982, do you know if their archives goes back that far ?.
Is there any form of indexing system ?.


Copies dating back to 2009 can be found online, which is presumably when they started digital-publishing. Hopefully this link will work, prob best opened in a new tab or window.
To find the Archives click on the three "Menu" bars in top righthand corner.

Dean Forest Mercury and the BNA

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Wednesday, April 03, 2019, 16:13 (428 days ago) @ Mike Pinchin

I've just added a comment and my 3 votes to this worthwhile cause, and I urge all other forum members to please do so too. As Mike says it just takes a minute and an email address to vote. I've also circulated this discussion, and asked for votes, via the FoD Industrial History Facebook group including Cinderford town councillor Mark Turner.

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