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article imageBritish Newspaper Archive launches major heritage venture online

By Kev Hedges     Nov 29, 2011 in Internet
Oh Yay, Oh yay, read all about it! An enterprising concept to digitise every newspaper, periodical and journal ever printed in Britain has been made available online.
The British Newspaper Archive has launched more than a million pages of pre-1900 newspapers, making them available to read on the internet. Previously the pages were only available to view by visiting the British Library. Over the next two years the archives will have increased to around 4 million pages and eventually 40 million in ten years from now.
The massive heritage project will encompass more than 200 different newspapers published in the UK and Ireland. Historical events, such as the Charge of the Light Brigade can be viewed and filters by date, region and keyword are available to pinpoint searches involving local events.
The British Library’s newspaper collections, which are among the finest in the world, reports Journal Live.
Today is stage one of the launch, and users can search and examine pages in great detail for a small subscription, to help the project financially. Ed King is head of the British newspaper collection at the British Library, he said:
Rather than having to view the items on site at the library, turning each page, people across the UK and around the world will be able to explore for themselves the gold mine of stories and information contained in these pages – and the ability to search across millions of articles will yield results for each user, that might previously have been the work of weeks or months, in a matter of seconds and the click of a mouse.
The newspapers are an invaluable resource for historians, researchers, genealogists and students alike. The home page, with new pages added everyday, can be found here.
At Kings Cross railway station today, young newspaper vendors dressed in Dickensian clothing promoted the launch. See video below.
More about old newspapers, Records, Archives, newspaper archives, Online archive
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