The biggest digitisation of newspapers to take place in the UK
The British Newspaper Archive website has just reached another milestone, as page number 5,000,000 was added to the site at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk.
With a target of 40 million pages by 2020, this 10-year project is the biggest digitisation of newspapers to take place in the UK. Up to 8,000 pages (that’s 120,000 stories) are being added to the site each day, and there are now well over 200 titles from UK and Irish regional papers in the archive.
Dr Richard Callison, brightsolid’s Project Director, said: “We’re delighted to have completed another stage in the project. In addition to the page counter on the homepage, visitors can also view a fully up-to-date index that shows them which pages have recently been added to the archive, as well as which titles are already on the site.”
The page that turned all seven digits on the website counter was page 6 of the ‘Hull Daily Mail’ for Tuesday 4 October 1949. So people who wish to read this newspaper can now view fully-searchable, digital copies of the paper from 1889 to 1950.
The main headlines on page 6 of the ‘Hull Daily Mail’ on 4 October 1949 were the Soviet plans for the East German government, a reminder about meat ration coupons and a helpful guide for winning the football pools.
When the British Newspaper Archive launched in late November 2011, most of the papers on the site were from the 19th Century. But the website now also contains many papers from the 18th and 20th centuries, meaning history researchers and genealogists can search old newspapers from 1700 right up to 1950. Content on the website from 1 January 1904 onwards is considered to be still in-copyright, and has been digitised with the full permission of the rights-holders.
The content for the website comes from the British Library Newspaper Collection, currently stored at the Library’s site at Colindale in North London. An on-site scanning team employed by brightsolid, the Library’s commercial partners in the project, scan and digitise the historical newspapers.
The website is free to search, with a range of credit packages available to suit the different needs of researchers who wish to view the paid-for content. Access to the resource is free to users of the British Library’s Reading Rooms.