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 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.
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?
(The Northern Echo)