The British Library has opened its archive of 300 years worth of local and regional newspapers, making 4 million web pages worth of news paper articles available online.
Until now, those looking to use The British Newspaper Archive for research purposes had to travel to Colindale, North London, where hard copies of each of the 65 million stories (some dating back as far as 1700) were kept.
If the 4 million pages right now sounds impressive, you should wait and hear what the British Library have planned. If all goes well, the archivists at the library plan to digitize and distribute a whopping 650 million articles across 40 million web pages by 2020.
“The British Newspaper Archive is a rich and hugely exciting resource, packed with historical detail,” said Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries.
“It’s a great example of the public and private sectors collaborating to deliver something that neither party could have delivered by themselves. I searched for my own constituency of Wantage and within seconds had 42,000 results – an indication of the breadth and variety of material featured.
“I’m delighted that the British Library and Brightsolid are working together to transform access to the nation’s published memory.”
A small fee is required to access the articles. £6.95 gives you 48 hours of browsing time, £29.95 gets you 30 days or £79.95 for a whole year. You’re then giving the option of downloading a PDF of the pages of your choice, should you want to keep a copy for further reference. Access at the British Library itself is free.
Check out the archive byclicking here.