08 September 2008

Google Newspapers Announcement

Google's Official Blog today got around to announcing the new newspaper archiving project it has undertaken recently, which I covered last month.

One interesting tidbit is buried in the post:
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 Google.com, you'll be searching the full text of these newspapers as well. (Emphasis added).

I love the fact that we are looking at a future integration between the news archive search and general google searches. Imagine a day when you google an ancestor's name and see newspaper articles as results!

What the article doesn't address is the issue of access to what the above excerpt references as "archive aggregators", which, in this case, invariably means sites like ancestry.com and newspaperarchive.com (to name two I have noticed in search results). I have subscriptions to both of these sites, so google's search function is quite helpful for me. But what about general users who are unlikely to have subscriptions to these sites? Will there be a per-article access feature? Will the sites simply be shilling their annual subscriptions to searchers?

I'd personally love to see free access to searchable online newspapers within the next few years, especially since a huge bulk of historic newspapers are public domain; I doubt it will happen, but it sure would be nice.

1 comment:

Tolley Family Historian said...

It'd be good to see some European titles in Google's plans too!