Monday, September 08, 2008

google newspaper digitization

Google is digitizing newspapers.

Not only will you be able to search these newspapers, you'll also be able to browse through them exactly as they were printed -- photographs, headlines, articles, advertisements and all.

This effort expands on the contributions of others who've already begun digitizing historical newspapers. In 2006, we started working with publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post to index existing digital archives and make them searchable via the Google News Archive. Now, this effort will enable us to help you find an even greater range of material from newspapers large and small, in conjunction with partners such as ProQuest and Heritage, who've joined in this initiative. One of our partners, the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, is actually the oldest newspaper in North America—history buffs, take note: it has been publishing continuously for more than 244 years.

You’ll be able to explore this historical treasure trove by searching the Google News Archive or by using the timeline feature after searching Google News. Not every search will trigger this new content, but you can start by trying queries like [Nixon space shuttle] or [Titanic located]. Stories we've scanned under this initiative will appear alongside already-digitized material from publications like the New York Times as well as from archive aggregators, and are marked "Google News Archive." Over time, as we scan more articles and our index grows, we'll also start blending these archives into our main search results so that when you search, you'll be searching the full text of these newspapers as well.
It's interesting that they're working directly with publishers and with aggregators such as ProQuest to digitize and improve discoverability of back files. That's good news, but do they also plan to work with major newspaper open access projects such as the National Digital Newspaper Program? Are they digitizing any collections in addition to publisher collections?

When I last looked at the Google news archive in September 2006 I found that way too much of the content was pay-per-view, made you pay even if your institution had licensed subscription access, and didn't work with OpenURL resolvers. I don't see that any of that has changed. I hope it will.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Thanks for the good post.