- World’s largest online collection of historic British & Irish newspapers now contains over 20 million searchable articles
The British Newspaper Archive today announced reaching yet another major milestone as page number 20,000,000 was added to www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk. An astonishing figure of up to 25,000 pages are now being added to the site each day and the Archive now contains well over 750 historical newspaper titles from across the UK and Ireland.
The paper that tipped the scales was The Oswestry Advertiser. Subtitling itself as the North Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Mercury & Journal for the Principality of Wales, the paper is a prime example of the regional titles in which the Archive specialises, covering counties in both England and Wales. All newspapers report on national and international news but it is the local titles that best reveal the lost history of a county or town. It is local events, perhaps long forgotten now, that shape the history of a place and the families that lived there.
The British Newspaper Archive launched in late November 2011 with a selection of newspapers from the 19th Century. Today the website contains regional and national papers running from the early 1700s up to the early 2000s. The site is used by a wide variety of researchers including historians, sports enthusiasts, fiction writers and genealogists.
Commenting on the announcement, the Archive’s Development Manager, Aoife O Connor, said: “This is a great achievement. Newspapers are the ultimate source of our nation’s history and they are also some of the most delicate items in archives, newspapers are often printed on soft paper which isn’t meant to last. Our digitisation and processing teams in Yorkshire and Scotland are helping preserve the history of the UK and Ireland and making them accessible to researchers worldwide.”
The majority of the newspapers available on the site come from the British Library Newspaper Collection at the Library’s site at Boston Spa, Yorkshire. An on-site scanning team employed by Findmypast, the Library’s commercial partners in the project, scan and digitise the historical newspapers, which are then made searchable by a technical team in Dundee. Newspapers dating from 1 January 1910 onwards are considered to be still in-copyright, and have been digitised with the full permission of the rights-holders.
Recently the Archive added 8 titles from the Illustrated London News Group which include lavishly illustrated titles dating from the nineteenth century to the early 2000s including The Illustrated London News and the iconic Tatler & Bystander.
The website is free to search, with a range of pay as you go credit and subscription packages available to suit the different needs of researchers who wish to view the paid-for content. By registering, you can enjoy your first three page views completely free. Access to the resource is also free to users of the British Library’s Reading Rooms.
About The British Newspaper Archive
The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership between the British Library and Findmypast to digitise up to 40 million newspaper pages from the British Library’s vast collection over a 10 year period.
The British Library’s collection of historical newspapers is one of the wonders of the world: it contains newspapers from 1603 to the present day, from both Britain and further afield. There are over 600,000 bound volumes of newspapers (occupying 32 kilometres, or 20 miles, of shelving) and over 300,000 reels of microfilm (occupying a further 13 kilometres, or 8 miles, of shelving). Until now, the only way to view these newspapers was to visit the British Library, and, of course, it was not possible to search them.
The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership with the British Library to digitised this huge collection and make it available on the internet so researchers from all over the world can access the treasures within it. First launched in 2011, millions of pages of historical newspapers have now been scanned and made them available online for the first time ever. You can now search hundreds of millions of stories by keyword, name, location, date or title and watch your results appear in an instant.
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