Date; Datum; Datum; Päivämäärä; Fecha.
Within the newspaper layout, the date would appear centred underneath the masthead and in the folio line (a line at the top or bottom of a newspaper page that gives the newspaper name, section and page number, and publication date). As headlines were not in use until late in the century, some articles would appear under a date only. This could also indicate an article was reprinted from elsewhere or provide the date of a telegram. Date is a very common search filter across digital collections: Gale indicated that only around 5% of users make use of advanced search functions, but date is used very often to limit searches because researchers tend to know what period they want to look at and are looking for contextual information around a specific time. Nevertheless, the date was rarely the date the issue was printed: evening editions would obviously be printed earlier in the day, while newspapers published in the morning would be printed the night before.
”If anyone wishes to establish precise publication dates for issues of Victorian periodicals, the advertisements in the Athenaeum and the Times are among the most helpful and accessible pieces of evidence, yet a word of caution is needed.” [Woodruff and de Groot, 104]
“Vasabladetin päätoimittaja ei antanut päivämäärää jolloin lehti olisi irtautunut RKP:stä.”
“Morning newspapers were printed the night before, as were most weekly papers. Most editions of newspapers with ‘evening’ in their titles were published in the morning or afternoon.” [Hobbs 2018, 113]
Date printed on the issue
“The last issue in the Mitchell Library, Sydney, is marked, ‘Vol. xl., No. 4503,’ and dated ‘October 20, 1842.’ It was:–’Printed and Published by Richard Sanderson, Proprietor, at The Sydney Gazette Office, Lower George-street, New South Wales.’ There is no intimation in this number that it is the last nor that it was about to cease publication.” [Ferguson, Foster and Green, 69-70]
“Publishers planned in advance a constructed ‘now’, a present, that lasted until the next issue, while the date at the top of the newspaper, ‘the single most important emblem on it’ according to Benedict Anderson, was rarely the date on which it was published.” [Hobbs 2018, 112-13]
“Daily newspapers and some weeklies had multiple editions in the nineteenth century, that is successive editions, usually with the same date.” [DNCJ, LRB, 431]
“With the coverage note temporal the reader gets detailed information about the ‘age’ of a news. This was especially important at former times when the transportation of news took several days or–if they came from abroad–even longer. In contrast to the coverage note spatial, the information value may not be high in daily newspapers, but in newspapers which are edited only once or twice a week or in irregular intervals an exact date can be of higher value.” [Europeana Newspapers 2015, 47]
Example of an article printed under an earlier date. Court report dated 15 September 1869 in Brisbane Courier, 16 September 1869: 2. Trove.