Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Google - the future of the newpaper archive?

Another interesting innovation from Google, News Archive Search that will make 'millions of pages of archived newspaper content available for free'.

Okay so most of the publications currently covered are from the US, but it surely won't be long until many of the major UK papers and periodicals start to get the same treatment?

I'm sure it will prove popular with many users, able now to search and browse from the comfort of their home PC using the same simple search engine that they have grown accustomed to. It might prove more of a mixed blessing for the archive repositories that currently house and provide access to the original newspapers (or their nausea inducing counterparts on microfilm): on the one hand encouraging would-be researchers to continue their studies using the additional material they may hold within their repository; but on the other resulting in far less 'bums on seats' within the archive. Plus, of course, increasing the popular assumption that there is no need to visit an archive any more as its "all available on the web"...

1 comment:

Phillip Ruston said...

There's a clear comparison with this and with what some of the major publishers started doing with scientific journals a few years ago - scanning back issues of key content and then making it available online - at a price. You could substitute "library" for the word "archive" in the posting; and in the case of scientific journals, it does result in fewer visits to the physical library, but some researchers still want the serendipity browsing - and always will.