TONIGHT sees the screening of the first part of a two-part BBC documentary, The Papers, which goes behind the scenes at The Herald and its sister titles, the Evening Times and The National. It’s not, however, the first time that TV cameras have caught The Herald in action.

In January 1983, on the occasion of our bicentenary, STV showed, live, a champagne celebration at Glasgow’s City Chambers; the following night, BBC1 broadcast ‘Friday’s Herald’, a 30-minute documentary representing 24 hours in the life of the newspaper. Six camera teams - four at the main office in Albion Street, and one each in our Edinburgh and London offices - covered all the activity that was poured into producing an issue of the Herald.

Special programmes marking the bicentenary were also produced for Radio Scotland and Radio Clyde. Messages of congratulation were received from, amongst others, Ronald Reagan, the US President.

“This happy occasion,” read the letter bearing the presidential seal, “brings many thoughts to mind: in the first place, the importance of a free and responsible press to the survival and the success of a free society. It is axiomatic that a nation predicated on the consent of the governed requires an informed citizenry.

“The Glasgow Herald can look back over its two centuries of service with pride in the way it has discharged its duty.”

A front-page leading article on January 27 said the Herald was now Scotland’s most successful quality national newspaper as well as its oldest, “and indeed may claim to be the oldest national newspaper in the English-speaking world”. Since the war, the Herald’s circulation had almost doubled and, despite the then current recession, had already shown an increase.

But it was not all plain sailing, as the article conceded: “The printed word is no longer the chief source of primary news, although the supreme medium for detail and opinion, and the Herald, in its next 200 years, must fight off all the challenges the new technologies can muster.”

It goes without saying that this was all a long time before the mass migration online, 24-hour news on demand on smartphones, and shrinking newsrooms.

Before it moved to Albion Street the paper was based in Buchanan Street (main image, far right; picture taken in 1950). From time to time we ran photographs of departments that readers otherwise never saw, such as the caseroom (right, bottom, taken in 1953). The paper was always proud of the contribution of its photographers: Lord Provost Michael Kelly is seen here in 1980 (right, top) at an exhibition of their work.

One reader’s letter printed on January 27 said that the Herald had come into his house for more than 70 years, beginning with his late grandfather and continuing with his uncles and now the reader himself. All of them had worked in the ironmongery trade.

Another reader that day said he had retired eight years earlier from the Herald Despatch Department. “I still miss the printer’s ink”, he wrote, “and the atmosphere.”