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The British Library and online publisher brightsolid today launch a website that will transform the way that people use historical newspapers to find out about the past. The British Newspaper Archive website will offer access to up to 4 million fully searchable pages, featuring more than 200 newspaper titles from every part of the UK and Ireland. The newspapers – which mainly date from the 19th century, but which include runs dating back to the first half of the 18th century – cover every aspect of local, regional and national news.
Searching the website generates free preview snippets of results found – to download full articles and images, users have a range of payment options including pay-per-view access for 48 hours or 30 days, and a subscription package for a year. The website is free to use in the British Library’s reading rooms.
“The launch of the British Newspaper Archive website opens up the British Library’s newspaper collection as never before,” said Ed King, the British Library’s Head of Newspapers. “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 British Newspaper Archive is the result of a ten-year partnership between the British Library and brightsolid, announced in May 2010. Over the past 12 months, brightsolid’s digitisation team, based at the British Library Newspaper Library at Colindale, has been digitising up to 8,000 pages of historic newspapers every working day. The project is expected to scan up to 40 million newspaper pages over the next ten years.
Direct to The British Newspaper Archive
See Also: James Murdoch attacks British Library for digitising newspapers (The Guardian; May 20, 2010)