The British Library has revealed that it’s planning to take some 40 million newspaper pages and put them online, in partnership with publisher Brightsolid.
This not-so-little lot will include historic articles dating back as far as the early eighteenth century.
As you can imagine, such a scheme is going to take quite some time to complete. The pages will be gradually digitised over the next decade, starting with some of the most important articles – such as those written about the suffragette movement.
Currently, if you wanted to have a peek at these old papers, you’d have to get yourself down to British Library Newspapers at Colindale in London, and scan through reams of hard copy or microfilm.
Having it all held on a site will be vastly more convenient, although to access the material online, there will be a charge. Users at the British Library will be given free access, The Register reports.
The British Library’s Chief Executive, Dame Lynne Brindley, commented: “Historic newspapers are an invaluable resource for historians, researchers, genealogists, students and many others, bringing past events and people to life with great immediacy and in rich detail.”
“Mass digitisation unlocks the riches of our newspaper collections by making them available online to users across the UK and around the world; by making these pages fully searchable we will transform a research process which previously relied on scrolling through page after page of microfilm or print.”