We are delighted (and massively proud!) to announce that The British Newspaper Archive, as a partnership with The British Library and brightsolid online technology, has received ‘Highly Commended’ in the category of Big Data Project of the Year at the IT Industry Awards last night. We were pipped at the post by HMRC.
The ‘Big Data Project of the Year’ is within the Project Excellence Awards category, which is heralded by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT as:
‘Presented to organisations and to project teams who have achieved exceptional results through their outstanding project implementation and their high levels of professionalism in IT.’
To find out more, visit the IT Industry Awards website.
About the BNA Project
The British Newspaper Archive is a 10-year partnership between brightsolid and The British Library. When we launched on 29th November last year, we had over 1.2 million searches. Due to rigorous testing of our scalable infrastructure pre-launch, we were capable of handling the peak of 2,245 searches with ease on launch day. Since then, the website has been popular not only in the UK but also internationally, with over 1 million unique browsers worldwide.
For brightsolid, The British Newspaper Archive is proving to be a pathfinder project that has allowed us to demonstrate technical performance with limited financial resources so as to ensure the project’s profitability. This project has also laid the foundations for further innovation, such as the development of a shared services platform across brightsolid sites. This platform allows us to share resources such as storage and processing power, ultimately leading to a more efficient and highly available infrastructure.
We receive fantastic feedback from customers, which we find incredibly useful to refine and evolve The British Newspaper Archive.
‘What a great website – so far, in one evening, my husband has unearthed reports relating to his father playing football as a schoolboy, a factory accident involving his great uncle, the fiftieth wedding anniversary of the great-great-grandparents, the same great-great-grandfather growing a seventeen pound cabbage, various gossip columns mentioning family members plus a number of births, deaths and other family notices. This is a brilliant supplement to other sources for researching family history.’ – Caralee Duffin.
Feedback from customers clearly demonstrates the role that technology has played in enabling these users to access information that they would otherwise have been very unlikely to gain access to – let alone know that it existed within printed history!
There is endless scope for this ever-evolving project. Looking to the future, ways to improve user experience, including enhanced site usability, optimised search functionality above and beyond ‘just search’ (such as autosuggest and recommendation intelligence) are all being sought.
This is an entirely unique project that clearly demonstrates the continued importance of collaboration and indeed stretching the boundaries of technology to enhance and enrich our understanding of our heritage. Without such advances in technology and the technical expertise in implementation, the newspapers available within The Archive would have had a very limited geographical reach and would not have been available for generations to come.
The Archive now has over 5.9 million pages available online, with up to 8,000 new pages added every day. The aim is to have 40 million pages available by 2021 . . .