Stamford Mercury

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Type Weekly local newspaper
Owner(s) Johnston Press
Editor Mark Edwards
Founded 1695 (claimed)
Headquarters Sheepmarket, Stamford
Official website http://www.stamfordmercury.co.uk

The Stamford Mercury (also Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford Mercury, Rutland and Stamford Mercury and Rutland Mercury) based in Stamford, Lincolnshire claims to be "Britain's oldest newspaper".[1] Berrow's Worcester Journal and London Gazette also claim this honour. The Mercury's masthead proclaims that it has been published since 1695.

Three editions (Stamford and The Deepings, Rutland, and Bourne) are published every Friday. The circulation figure in 2011 was 16,675.[2]

The Mercury is now owned by East Midlands Newspapers Ltd, part of Johnston Press. Sister newspapers include The Peterborough Evening Telegraph and The Rutland Times.

An edition of the Mercury from 22 May 1718 is the earliest still surviving newspaper in the British Library's newspaper reading room, The Newsroom.[3]

Archives[edit]

The Mercury possesses the largest archive of any provincial newspaper.[citation needed] It contains over 20,000 newspapers and is complete from the middle of the 18th century. It also holds substantial numbers of annual volumes and individual copies prior to that, dating back to 1714.

Since 2005, the archive has been in the care of The Stamford Mercury Archive Trust. The Trust received a grant of £305,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to undertake a five year conservation programme. The Trust set out to microfilm every known copy of the Stamford Mercury in existence. Access to the archive is free for personal research. A copy of the complete microfilm run of the paper is available at Stamford Library.[4]

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