May 20, 2022

Humanities and History: North Carolina St. University Libraries Signs Innovative Data Mining Agreement With Gale

Interesting!!! Will other publishers begin to offer this type of access?

From Today’s NC State Libraries Announcement:

The new agreement will allow North Carolina State University researchers to data mine Gale archival collections that are “important to historians and humanists.”

While data mining is widespread in the social and natural sciences, publishers have traditionally not offered blanket rights to mine historical archives. The agreement with Gale marks the first such license ever signed between an academic research library and a major commercial publisher of historic archival collections.


Assistant professor in the NC State English Department, Dr. Paul Fyfe will be among the first to use the new license, researching patterns of content within collections of nineteenth-century British newspapers at scale.

“This partnership represents an exciting frontier for scholars interested in exploring new approaches to digital source materials, whether text, metadata, or image,” he explains. “For humanities researchers, digitized historical content helps us to test new methods of inquiry. It also opens doors to collaborating with partners across disciplines, including computer scientists who are intrigued by how to recognize feature sets and higher-order relationships in large semi-structured bodies of data.”

“We applaud Gale for this bold move,” says Susan K. Nutter, Vice Provost and Director of the NCSU Libraries. “The NCSU Libraries is committed to being at the fore when it comes to opening up electronic and licensed collections for computational research in analytics, content mining, and data visualization. We hope the agreement with Gale further stimulates our many partners in the publishing arena to help us accelerate progress in these promising areas of research.”

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.