I saw this in my reader this morning — another push by Google to digitize text and archive it for eternity (or at least, until the servers crash). Google News Archive allows you to search old newspapers, and there is even an interesting “timeline option” that allows you to go back in time.
“The News Archive Partner Program provides a way for Google and publishers and repositories to partner together and make historical newspaper archives discoverable online. As part of Google News, the News archive search function provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. For articles already in digital format, we’ve worked with the hosts of these archives to crawl and index their materials. When materials aren’t easily available in digital format, we have partnered with the copyright holder to scan and present the newspaper in a way that is full-text searchable, fast and easy to navigate,” explains Google.
The search is free, but when I searched my birth date (what was going on in the world the day I was born?), I noticed that the search brought me headlines and the first paragraph, but then, most newspapers charge you to get the rest. There are a few that are completely, free, though.
I’m OK with that — if I want the archives, I have to pay, and if that helps keep newspapers afloat for another year (well, I am not buying that many articles, but you get the idea), than that is a system I can support.
Peace (in the history),