COPIES of the Barrow Herald & Furness Advertiser dating from 1863 to 1879 are being made available online for free via the British Newspaper Archive.

A total of 994 results are available for perusal in the title's 'free to view' section.

The Barrow Herald & Furness Advertiser covered a wide patch, stretching up the coast to Carlisle.

The free pages offer a fascinating glimpse into the newspapers of yesteryear, from the style of advertising ("MILK! MILK!! MILK!!!" reads one), to the written style of the editorial.

For example, the edition for Saturday, November 12 1864, in the 'general news' section, details the tragic story of an 11-year-old Whitehaven boy who was killed after he was knocked down by a sheep ("He immediately got up and ran into the house, holding his head with his hands, and crying 'ho, my mother!' The poor lad died on Wednesday from concussion of the brain."); the collapse of an entire house on "Old Market Brow, Maryport", from which all occupants escaped remarkably unscathed; and a robbery committed by a Whitehaven prostitute.

"Margaret Brown, an unfortunate out of Strand Street," it reads, "whose general appearance, enhanced as it might once have been by various adornments in the shape of hat and feathers, was by no means improved by two nights incarceration in the lock-up, was charged with stealing two half-sovereigns and five shillings from the person of Thomas Elliott, who described himself as a farmer from Workington.

"The prosecutor's evidence effected that on Saturday night, at a late hour, he met the prisoner in the street, and was induced to accompany her.

"He had not been in her company long before he missed the money."

In addition to containing a wealth of fascinating stories, the newspapers are also beautiful, rendered in high definition on the archive website.

In a blog announcing the free resources, the British Newspaper Archive said: "The British Library and the British Newspaper Archive are committed to making historical resources available to more and more people, and the introduction of free to view pages marks a significant milestone in this commitment.

"Over the next three years, we will see a total of 3.7 million free to view pages being added to the archive, with the aim of shedding light on the diverse content held by the British Library."

The free pages join an archive of paid-access titles from across the country. "Whether you’re a history buff, genealogist or sports fan, there are resources to cover all interests," according to the site.

To explore, go to the British Newspaper Archive website.