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British Library Puts 200 Million Newspaper Pages Online

In a move that could help people to peek into the past in an interactive manner, British Library has pushed a new service online to enable users to access newspapers dating back 200 years.

The new online service has over 200 million pages from 49 regional and local newspapers between 19th and the early 20th century, some of which, including Glasgow Herald, Northern Echo, and Western Mail, are still famous brands on the country’s news-stands.

The service, which is available on a pay-as-you-go basis, will let users to understand the structure of the 19th century society, and follow the history in an intriguing way.

The website at newspapers.bl.uk/blcs (opens in new tab) allows users to explore the 19th century newspapers to follow various thrilling cases of that time, such as the brutal details of the Whitechapel murders, plotted and committed by the enigmatic Jack the Ripper, and the banking collapse of 1878.

Although the searches on the website costs nothing, but users will need to pay £6.99 for a 24 hour access coming with 100 downloads, as well as £9.99 for 200 downloads and 7-days a week. However, access to a couple of newspaper, including the Penny Illustrated Paper and The Graphic, is free.

Our Comments

Is the British library trying to get a revenue stream by putting this content online? Last year, Google launched a newspaper digitisation project which spawn the Google Newspaper Archive website which is supported by Google adwords and offers the possibility to viewers to purchase the individual newspapers. Will the British Library share the content with Google for the greater good?

Related Links

British Library puts 19th century newspapers online (opens in new tab)

(Pocket-Lint)

Online service offers access to past news (opens in new tab)

(The Northern Echo)

200 years of newspapers appear online (opens in new tab)

(Tech Radar)

British Library publishes online archive of 19th-century newspapers (opens in new tab)

(Guardian)

A century of British newspapers goes online (opens in new tab)

(T3)

19th century newspaper pages online (opens in new tab)

(Press Association)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.