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September 8, 2008

Google Digitizes Historical Newspapers

In its never-ending quest to organize the world's information, Google started to digitize old editions from newspapers like Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, St. Petersburg Times, Today's News-Herald and make them available at Google News Archive.


"Today, we're launching an initiative to make more old newspapers accessible and searchable online by partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives. 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 Google News Archive," explains Google Blog.

The newspapers digitized by Google are available for free in an interface similar to the one from Google Book Search. Unfortunately it's quite difficult to read articles, even though Google automatically detects headlines and centers the associated content.

15 comments:

  1. For ease of reading, digitizing might include passing the data thru an OCR engine, if there's one good enough to handle such images. However, I have to admit there's a certain charm to the actual images. Haven't seen that sort of stuff in over 50 years. Reminds me of when I used to do local history columns for a newspaper by reading through the morgue.

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  2. I spent all evening looking up old newspapers. From the Stock Market Crash of 1929 to the Shuttle Challenger Tragedy of 1986. It's all there. What a difference from reading a history book. In a book you knew what happened. In a paper, your reading right along with them. Cue Back to the Future music. They never knew what would happen next. I also enjoy all the old ads for stuff. $2897 for a new 71 Firebird? Give me three. I want the Trans-Am model with T-tops.

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  3. google is really genious. no one can deny that they are the best.. nice article btw =)

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  4. If the digitized text is scanned in any fashion, can words be "keyword-ized" so particular stories pop up as matches within the engine?

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  5. Yes, the articles may show up as search results in Google News Archive. To restrict the results to the newspapers scanned by Google, add to the query site:news.google.com/newspapers.

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  6. Perhaps there is such a thing as too much information?

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  7. Google try to put everything into their database. What is the next?

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  8. Those who don't evaluate and produce new things become past.

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  9. Google Digital archives is great source for those who loves history

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  10. I think google next effort will be to make historic video library.

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  11. Newsbank and Proquest keep consumers updated with the latest newspaper scans. The Library of Congress does too. It would help us readers and researchers if we knew what was available. Perhaps some of their OCR technology would be of use since it facilitates keyword searches within articles. In my opinion, Proquest seems to have the best searching abilities.

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  12. i think google get many achivement about the valueable information.
    Google try to put everything into their database. What is the next?

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  13. I am also fond of old newspapers and being a history student, i need to follow it too. I think this is great feature added by google to get the access of old newspaper online.

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  14. Research is my favorite indoor sport, and I am absolutely delighted to have the vintage newspapers indexed, thanks to the wonderful folks at Google. My frustration stems from unsuccessful efforts to acess certain articles, which appear in miniature form on my screen and are illegible. There are several articles from the Ottawa Citizen which I am extremely interested in reading, but cannot find a way to do so. I have no idea as to how to access legible copies. Nevertheless, Google is performing a splendid service and I am grateful for it.

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  15. In browsing the Net I came across a copy of the Sydney Mail of June 13th 1885. Page 1222 of the paper (page 4 onscreen) is an account of the Mahommadan Cape Malays by "An Old Resident." I would dearly love a copy of this article - how can I get one???

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