More content, more quickly! The BNA tech upgrade – an update

Posted on July 17th, 2013 by Amy

More content, more quickly! The BNA tech upgrade – an update

We hope that you have all been enjoying the lovely Summer weather lately?

You may have noticed that there has been a slow-down in the number of pages added to the site recently. There is a fantastic reason for this . . . [drumroll please] . . . We are delighted to announce that we have been busy working on upgrading our newspaper ingest and post-processing system. Once we’re up and running with the new system, this will allow us to bring you more new content, more quickly! A small downside to this is that for the next few weeks while we upgrade, there will be no new pages added to the site.

Please be assured that in this time we have continued to scan newspaper material at an ever increasing rate. The good news is that because of the continuous scanning, we have a rather large number of new titles and additional pages of existing titles waiting ‘in the wings’! We cannot wait to start processing the new scans through the improved system and make them available to you on The BNA.

As always, we love hearing about your discoveries from The Archive. Please do share your stories here or by contacting us directly at support@britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk to let us know what you’ve found!

Best wishes,

Team BNA

  • Kate Wills

    How are things progressing?

    Having renewed my annual subscription three weeks ago, you can imagine my disappointment that new content has dried up since then.

    Thakyou

    Kate

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Kate, we are working on this, so please bear with us. Best regards, Grant.

  • John

    It would be good if we had a firm idea of what is in the pipeline – you know what you have scanned, or have scheduled, but we don’t. An example – Dover Express has a good run of years, but 1917 is missing completely. If it is going to be added this year, then I will renew my subscription – otherwise I will let it lapse until a firm date is given.

    Hope that doesn’t sound too negative, I have enjoyed using the site and am grateful for the hard work that has gone into making it not only a useful resource, but ‘user friendly’ as well.

    Kind regards,

    John

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your comments, which I’ve passed on to the product executive for the BNA.

      We hope to have some good news about this matter soon, and hope you’ll bear with us just a wee bit longer while we work on making this improvement to the website.

      Best regards,
      Grant.

  • K Stammers

    Can you give us any idea what “soon” means? Is it a few more days, weeks or months?

    I agree with the above message from John – I thoroughly enjoy using the site and, like him, think it would be nice to know what papers have been scanned and what is planned.

    Regards,
    Kathleen

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Kathleen,

      I’m sorry that, at the moment, I can’t give you a specific date and/or timeline for this – but we don’t have that info at the moment.

      But it will be good news, I assure you.

      I hope you’ll bear with us while we work on this improvement.

      Regards,
      Grant.

  • http://TheBritishNewspaperArchive Jim

    I am assuming we will all be given extensions to our subscriptions to cover the period that the site has had no new data – three months now. (The drummer in your original thread starting message must be getting quite tired!)

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Jim, thanks for your post. We will have good news about this, so I hope you’ll stick with us. I’m sorry that we can’t be more helpful on this at the moment or provide more info – but it is work-in-progress. Regards, Grant.

  • John

    Another week sails past, and still no news from your team. I know, I know.. bear with you, you will have good news on this.

    Come on, it doesn’t take much to actually let us know what’s going on. If you are having problems, admit it – honesty is always the best policy. We have all joined this Archive on the promise of “thousands of new pages scanned for you every day.” That’s all well and good, but no help to us if those thousands of scanned pages are out of our reach whilst our subscriptions gradually run out.

    Please, please – forget the ‘happy clappy’ responses, and get us all an answer from someone who does know what is happening!

  • Nick

    Okay, another week passes by with no update – what’s happening? Is it worth actually renewing subscriptions?

  • Steve Fairfax

    Most of us are tired of hearing platitudes, we want a firm date for the restoration of the service for which we subscribed.

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    I have today rang the British Library & spoke to the Service Input Manager & was able to get an update.
    They have over one million pages to load & a notice is to appear on both this blog & Facebook although I have yet to find it.
    Time scale about 2 weeks so I am told.

  • Kate Wills

    Sorry to press a point Grant, but the home page proudly continues to state “New pages added every day”. When was the last day a page was added to the online archive?

  • John

    No reply to Kate?

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    Is it not rather surprising that I can ring the British Library & get more information than the British Newspaper Archive are willing to post here.
    We are really being treated like children with the responses we are getting from Grant.
    Does he really think that the latest “update” was going to satisfy subscribers ?

  • Kate Wills

    Grant, I am going to hazard a rough guess to answer my own question above. I think it was around early June that the Sunday Post became the last title added to the online collection. I note that today it has been belatedly removed from the cheerily named NEW TITLES ADDED EVERY DAY link ed page, where it was erroneously announced as having been added in the last 30 days. I renewed my annual subscription two months ago, unwittingly to an already static site. I’ve heard sorry numerous times. I appreciate that, but in common with fellow subscribers above and on Facebook, I feel we are being very shabbily treated, and I would venture in contravention of Advertising Standards legislation.

  • Keith Robertson

    Come clean and let your subscribers know the truth.
    Can we have a definitive reply from a member of the senior management?

  • Keith Robertson

    Would bringing this to the attention of the national media help expedite the process?

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    When I spoke on the phone to the Service Input Manager at the British Library she was rather concerned at the tone of the comments on this blog which she had not previously seen; as this does not reflect well on the Library.
    Perhaps this may be the route to take – I do have her email address.

  • Kate Wills

    Keith & Stephen,

    Our ‘tone’ has only changed because of the continued absence of promised new content, and the way our comments are either bypassed with a cheery wave, or totally ignored. That our polite questions have transformed into barely contained anger is hardly surprising given the three-month dearth of new pages. We have to abide by Brightsolid / BNA’s Terms & Conditions, so our tone shouldn’t come as a shock when their advertised service fails to materialise. Lack of information leads to speculation: might this week’s story on the BBC News site ‘Shake-up at online firm brightsolid’ have something to do with the current standstill?

  • Keith Robertson

    I think the Service Input Manager needs to wake up.
    Stephen can you let me have her contact details. thanks.
    I think it is a disgrace that a national archive has been turned into such a state.

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    To be fair to her I am not sure that she can be held responsible for Brioghtsolid’s failings.
    She did actually phone me back shortly after I left a message on her phone.
    As soon as I made her aware of the comments on this blog she acted immediately.
    It was the BNA who put out that meaningless release.
    Anyway she is:-
    Rachel Austin
    Service Improvement Manager,
    Operations & Services
    The British Library
    96 Euston Road
    London NW1 2DB
    0207 412 7644
    rachel.austin@bl.uk
    As least her contact details are in the public domain which is more than be said for the BNA/brightsolid

  • Mike Mitchell

    I read with interest that it is not just me wondering whether this lot have gone to sleep. Thank you to Stephen for Rachel’s email address. I have asked her the same questions we are all asking, and that she share her response on this chat page.
    Cheery non-responses are insulting, and we need an adult response from somebody who knows what is going on. It is clear that the person dealing with queries does not, or is under instruction from somebody much more senior to just fob us off.
    It is bad enough to be refused basic information such as the issues due to be scanned, or what the policy is on selection of issues (which they must know – or do they really just do it at random?), but the planned move of newspapers from Colindale may well provide another excuse for delay from this November. Perhaps that is the plan – build up a backlog and then dribble that out while the move takes place?

  • Kate Wills

    Does anyone know what difference there is, if any, between the BNA content available within Dind My Past subscriptions, and that offered here on the BNA itself?

  • Kate Wills

    Sorry for the typo above; that should read FIND MY PAST subscriptions.

  • Update on the Drummer

    I’m a little concerned as to the well being of the drummer who was doing the drum roll. As mentioned in a previous comment he must have got way past the point of tiredness a number of weeks ago. Is he OK? Is medical attention being given? I think we have a right to know!

  • Jane Jones

    I have been waiting for more content and am becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of updates. A few weeks has turned into a few months. Colindale closes soon and we won’t be able to see any newspapers until the end of 2014. They are already making some papers unavailable. Now this site has dried up as well and I have a gut feeling that the two are linked somehow

  • Kate Wills

    “bear with us just a wee bit longer while we work on making this improvement to the website”. That was posted by the BNA on 1st August. In keeping with no new content, responses to customer comments have also dried-up.

    What is going on, while our subscriptions fritter away?

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    did anyone following the British Library contact I provided a few days ago ?

  • Kate Wills

    I didn’t Stephen, my reasoning being that everything I wished to say to her was here, and you had already alerted her to our complaints. The total disregard for their customers is losing them money and goodwill: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=199374&hl=

  • John

    I can’t understand why Grant et al haven’t responded – under the circumstances our posts here have been remarkably polite and restrained.

    Like many people I subscribed for 12 months on the promise of new content daily. One quarter of that subscription period has been, if not entirely wasted, at least in breach of that promise. I would accept a few days without murmur, even a couple of weeks and I would just shrug, but three months and counting? With no meaningful or frank updates?

    Dear Brightsolid – I would like a refund for the period where you have been in breach of contract. Or an extension to my subscription to cover that same amount of time. I would also like to be rich, good-looking, charming and witty, and meet a girl with similar attributes out here in the sticks, but that’s just as unlikely to happen too… ah well..

  • Jane Jones

    I have emailed Ms Austin

  • Mike Mitchell

    I emailed the lady at the BL. Awaiting a reply from her.

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    I have sent another email to the British Library as I do feel that this is the best way of continuing the pressure.
    I see that some of the previous postings have now been deleted.

  • Kate Wills

    I would hazard a guess that a delay of three months in adding new pages points to some huge failure somewhere, which perhaps for understandable commercial reasons, they are loathe to explain online. However, where does that leave we paying customers? So far we have had no specific explantaions, no definate dates for resumption of advertised service, and no indication of compensation for loss of new content, or worst of all loss of service when the search facilty itself was withdrawn. Grant, BrightSolid’s marketing executive who used to dish out apologies and vague hopes of a resumption of service has not responded to customers’ comments for two weeks, despite being busy on other parts of the BNA blog and Facebook.

    On another page of this blog, another disappointed customer posted this on 30th August:

    I do hope you will extend my viewing time due to the service maintenance i only have 2 days and find that on my last day your search facility is down. and as the browse feature is useless for my research purposes, and i need to input specific names the time is running out to use my remaining credits.

    No reply appeared on the site, though other customers were in the same position.

    All in all, I think it’s a complete dereliction of duty to their customers, and what really grates now is BrighSolid’s rudeness in not bothering to reply here and on Facebook.

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    I have phoned Brightsolid’s reception on 01382 429000 & was given a number 01382 210100 as a Customer Services number for the BNA division but this number is constantly engaged.
    I have phoned Rachel Austin at the British Library since she did not reply to my email but she has been in a meeting most of the day with her Manager discussing the BNA.
    I have asked for her to ring me as soon as she is free.
    I made it clear to the individual I spoke to how damaging this all is to the British Library’s reputation.

  • Mike Mitchell

    I applied for a three month extension to my subscription and this was turned down as expected. I was told that the terms and conditions do not guarantee any level of service. In respect of when the usual service might be expected to resume, I was told this would be “a few weeks” as we are getting accustomed to hearing.
    I wonder if an approach to Trading Standards might be appropriate, citing BNA, DCThomson and the BL? The t’s and c’s might be deemed to be unfair contract terms, and the promises on the website misleading.

  • John

    I see that ‘Team BNA’ have found the time to continually update their own blogs, but responding to our concerns is obviously too time consuming.

  • Jane Jones

    And so another week has passed with no response from the BNA or Ms Austin

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    I understand that an update will be forthcoming on Monday.

  • Kate Wills

    Nice to be in the know Stephen. Why can’t the BNA tell all their customers of their impending announcement? Why wait until Monday to tell us what they probably know already (Friday)?

  • John

    And what’s the betting that their update will be self-congratulatory and contain the word ‘impressive’ somewhere, but neglect any mention of a refund or extension..

  • Sheila

    I found this contact on the press release site. (Nov 2012)

    Natasha White
    Press Officer
    The British Newspaper Archive
    Email: nwhite@brightsolid.com
    Phone: 0207 994 0149

    Maybe the press office will more readily appreciate what effect bad press has, than Grant, Amy et al. Failing that there is always Watchdog.

  • http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk bna

    Hi everyone – We are extremely sorry for the delay but we now have an update for you. The following is on the homepage:

    We have been busy working on upgrading our newspaper ingest and post-processing system – Many of you have been enquiring about when the new process will start.

    We are now pleased to announce that new pages will begin to appear on the site later this week, gradually increasing to almost double the previous process limits of about 10,000 pages/day. In addition, the next few months will see inclusion of new titles from Yorkshire, Sunderland and Burnley. More news soon! . . .

  • Mike Mitchell

    I had posted three critical comments on this blog over the past two weeks – nothing offensive, just questioning whether there were legal avenues users could follow to obtain redress for lack of service over the past three months.
    These were shown as “awaiting moderation” and then disappeared.
    It seems like BrightSolid does not want the rest of you to know what is being suggested.
    Good, cheery, news only, please, apparently.
    Resumed service later this week? I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • Mike Mitchell

    I see my comments are back, but (since 8th September) still “awaiting moderation”

  • Kate Wills

    Will that news address the other points raised here?

  • John

    Quite frankly, I feel the British Library should be ashamed to be associated with the BNA. BNA have proved unreliable, evasive (dishonest?), and appear to have taken subscription money under false pretences. If I bought a car that the dealership said could do ‘up to’ 35mpg, and it then sat on my drive and was capable of doing nothing, I would be peeved. BNA appear to promise ‘up to’ a certain number of new pages each day, and for three whole months it was zero. Zilch. Nada. Diddly squat.

    Now, BNA can hide behind their T&C’s, but if the organisation is staffed by real people with morals they will do something about refunding the money have obtained under false pretences, or extending the subscription period. But the impression I get is that they have one goal, one overriding priority, and that is to make money. Fair enough, every business needs to survive – but if they need to resort to shady and even underhand practises to do this then there is something horribly wrong with their business model.

    As I said in my opening sentence – British Library, you, too, should feel ashamed. I believe the expression is something like “tarred by association”, or even “if you lay down with dogs, you wake up with fleas”.

  • Kate Wills

    Dear John and Mike,

    I hope you don’t mind, but I have quoted your posts above on the discussion that is currently running about this on the Great War Forum, of which I am a Trustee / Administrator. I have not mentioned your names, and it is in a part of the Forum that is only visible to members. There again, we have 36,000 members, some being BNA subscribers, many being potential subscribers.

    I find it barely credible that a high-profile organisation can fob its customers off as related by Mike Mitchell on 11th September. The BNA have never wavered from its “new pages added every day” strapline statement, despite over 3 months failure to match that promise; indeed, I wonder if we would be getting any new content this week at all if it had not been for the calls for service posted here.

    The BNA / BrightSolid have created this rumpus, not us.

  • Recently Added Issues

    Is it not a little strange that the ‘Recently Added Issues’ has, over recent weeks, continued to show a vast number of titles for which pages have been added in the last 30 days in spite of the fact that the number of pages shown as added to the site has remained static for weeks?

    Is this not dishonest?

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi,

      Thanks for your comment.

      To answer your question, we don’t think believe that it is dishonest, as we did state on the website – and on social media – the reason as to why there would be a temporary break in the uploading of new content.

      And the new content is currently being processed and will be on the website very shortly.

      Regards,
      Grant.

  • stacey skinner

    friday tomorrow?

  • Jane Jones

    It’s only the titles that appear in the blue space beneath the words “Recently Added Issues” that are recently added, and on my screen there are none there and haven’t been for a long time. The ones listed alphabetically below the blue space are the titles that have been added since the service started.
    We were promised on Monday that it would be later this week. That must mean tomorrow – but I’m not holding my breath…..

  • Steve Fairfax

    Friday has arrived and still no updates just more empty promises. How do \i get my money back?

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    I phoned the “Help Desk” (01382 210100) earlier, but the woman who answered was unaware of the Notice on the Home Page regarding new content.
    She was going to enquire of her colleagues (by email) & let me know but I have heard nothing back.

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    Here is a message I have just received:-

    “Following our conversation earlier today, I contacted Mr Callison on your behalf.
    He has advised that the Taunton Courier dated 1835 has been added this week and you will be able to view that on the site. We will now start to increase the numbers once all full checks are completed and if we are satisfied with regards to quality, amongst other areas.
    If you have looked for the new aditions in the ‘ recently added’ section, the previously advised newspaper will not yet be visible in that section as yet as it is just added to the system and that paricular area does not populate immediately , however this will be visible within the coming days. “

  • Sheila

    new pages have been added today (about 430, I think). However the question remains as to how quickly they will be able to get up to the promised thousands of pages a day. The press release on the first anniversary (29 Nov 2012) boasted 6 million pages, but still 10 months later we haven’t got to 7 million. To reach the 40 million pages by 2021 would have required approx 3.8 million a year. So people with an annual subscription have lost out on 2million+ pages. They have a lot of catching up to do.

  • Kate Wills

    Sorry to disagree, but I do.

    You have never wavered from you “new pages added EVERY DAY” statement on the home page. You have continually fobbed us off with stock phrases such as “a wee bit longer”. Since when has “shortly” of “a wee bit longer” been defined as four months?

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Everyone,

      We are currently working on uploading new content to the website.

      As Sheila and Stephen mention below, some new pages (‘The Taunton Courier’ from 1835) have already been added to the site, which shows us that the new system is working.

      We also have plenty more data currently being processed, and are carrying out checks and testing the quality of the new pages.

      We’re extremely close to adding much more new content to the site, and achieving the sort of numbers mentioned in the ‘Content Update’ message on the homepage.

      So, apologies for the added delay, but we are very close to adding lots of new content to the site via the new system.

      Kind regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • Sheila

    Dear BNA Team,
    You may be interested in the following from wikipedia “The customer is always right” is a motto or slogan which exhorts service staff to give a high priority to customer satisfaction. It was popularised by pioneering and successful retailers such as Harry Gordon Selfridge …. They advocated that customer complaints should be treated seriously so that they should not feel cheated or deceived.
    You appear to have taken the view that the customer is always wrong. I have not renewed my subscription, but received an e-mail on 19 September that stated “We’re continually improving The Archive, and it’s growing fast, thousands more pages from titles throughout the country come online daily.
    The anger you are receiving from customers is because you are treating us as if we’re stupid. Do you want us to contact trading standards office? to see who is right?
    “You might want to contact Trading Standards if:

    you’ve been misled by the trader into buying something you wouldn’t have bought if you had been given all the information beforehand
    the trader has made false claims about goods or services which you have found out not to be true

  • The Tale of the Drummer Boy

    Once upon a time, not long ago and in a land not far away, an online company going by the name ‘BrightSolid’ identified a boom area in the public consciousness, that of Family History research. Realising that there was much wealth to be made in this area, they set up many websites and went into partnership with many reputable organisations, with the aim of cornering this lucrative market.

    But then things went wrong.

    Realising that they would be unable to meet their advertised commitments, they decided on an innovative approach – they would mask their problems with cheery promises and hope that the gullible subscribers would stay quiet. To aid in this approach they decided to employ a young drummer boy, a naïve soul who believed that his blossoming talent had found an outlet.

    “We will pay you up to £7 an hour for your drumrolls”, said BrightSolid, “and you can help announce our cheery deceptions – err, we mean announcements”.

    Thinking that this was a great opportunity, the young drummer boy signed his contract after reading all the Terms and Conditions and finding nothing in them to cause alarm or despondency. He promptly started drumming.. and drumming.. and three months down the line he was still going.

    By this time the poor lad was starting to have doubts about the time period, after all he had been promised it would only be for a few weeks. But he consoled himself with the thought of his coming pay packet. Eventually the time came for him to collect, and he was devastated to find a mere three shillings and sixpence in his wage packet.

    “I say”, he protested meekly, “I was promised up to £7 an hour for my drumming. What’s happned to the rest of my wages?”

    “Ah!”, responded BrightSolid, “We have abided by our side of the contract. You have, indeed, been paid UP TO £7 an hour..”

    The poor drummer wandered sadly off over the horizon, havin been dealt a harsh lesson in the morality and ethics of big business..

  • John

    Once upon a time, not long ago and in a land not far away, an online company going by the name ‘BrightSolid’ identified a boom area in the public consciousness, that of Family History research. Realising that there was much wealth to be made in this area, they set up many websites and went into partnership with many reputable organisations, with the aim of cornering this lucrative market.

    But then things went wrong.

    Realising that they would be unable to meet their advertised commitments, they decided on an innovative approach – they would mask their problems with cheery promises and hope that the gullible subscribers would stay quiet. To aid in this approach they decided to employ a young drummer boy, a naïve soul who believed that his blossoming talent had found an outlet.

    “We will pay you up to £7 an hour for your drumrolls”, said BrightSolid, “and you can help announce our cheery deceptions – err, we mean announcements”.

    Thinking that this was a great opportunity, the young drummer boy signed his contract after reading all the Terms and Conditions and finding nothing in them to cause alarm or despondency. He promptly started drumming.. and drumming.. and three months down the line he was still going.

    By this time the poor lad was starting to have doubts about the time period, after all he had been promised it would only be for a few weeks. But he consoled himself with the thought of his coming pay packet. Eventually the time came for him to collect, and he was devastated to find a mere three shillings and sixpence in his wage packet.

    “I say”, he protested meekly, “I was promised up to £7 an hour for my drumming. What’s happned to the rest of my wages?”

    “Ah!”, responded BrightSolid, “We have abided by our side of the contract. You have, indeed, been paid UP TO £7 an hour..”

    The poor drummer wandered sadly off over the horizon, havin been dealt a harsh lesson in the morality and ethics of big business..

  • Kate Wills

    Well said Sheila.

    The flim-flam and falsehoods from BNA continue. On the 16th we heard:

    “We are now pleased to announce that new pages will begin to appear on the site later this week…”

    Here we are, at the end of the week, expected to be grateful for a handful of pages from the Taunton Courier.

    As for BNA’s message to Sheila above ““We’re continually improving The Archive, and it’s growing fast, thousands more pages from titles throughout the country come online daily”

    It is demonstrably untrue; if not please point to these “thousands more pages” and titles that come online daily. Where are they?

    The BNA appears to be in a complete state of denial, and I note the author now signs-off as BNA team. I can understand a wish to be anonymous, but is this latest announcement really a joint effort?

  • Jane Jones

    Well, here we are, at the end of a week of more broken promises.
    “We are making checks on quality” – have they been scanning in since June and not made any checks on quality as they go?
    The “Taunton Courier” went virtually unnoticed – I was waiting for the page count to zoom. If they have only managed to scan in 1,000 pages a day (although they promised “thousands”) they already owe us 90,000 pages within the next week or so. If not, they owe us three months’ subscriptions. Or should we just widen our concerns to ministers or the press?

  • Christine Hoggarth

    The BNA have offered 3 months of excuses and broken promises. Earlier this week the following post appeared, “We also have plenty more data currently being processed, and are carrying out checks and testing the quality of the new pages”. Surely any respectable and professional company would ensure that quality checks and testing would have been completed before issuing a statement promising new content. It is true that some new pages did appear, we could see that the tally had gone up just over four hundred pages, but we’d no idea as to what had been added as the name of the newly added titles weren’t given. Yet again customers have been left feeling frustrated, disappointed and totally disillusioned with the BNA. I for one will be contacting Trading Standards and would expect at the very least to have my subscription extended for three months after it’s expiration date.

  • Jim Maycock

    Grant – I am glad you and the team at BNA do not feel you have been dishonest, as if you did, you would surely be admitting to a criminal offence.
    However, whether you have or haven not been dishonest is irrelevant as clearly from the messages on this blog there are many of your CUSTOMERS, who feel you have at best been evasive with what is happening and hiding behind the semantics of the phrase “up to” and provided some pretty poor communication.
    Back in May a simple statement along the lines of “unfortunately we have encountered problems with our up loading of new material for which we currently do not have a time scale for repair or renewal, but will add the time we cannot upload new material onto to all existing subscriptions.”
    Not doing this has infuriated you customer base and made them feel ripped off and taken as mugs, and in many of their eyes, defrauded.
    It seems to me a very odd way to run a business – it is your prerogative, but it is also my prerogative to never renew a subscription with your company again.

  • Definition of Dishonest

    I’m a little puzzled at the notion that to include a page containing a vast number of papers for which pages have been supposedly added in the last 30 days when this is not the case is anything other than dishonest.

    If you know that only a limited number of pages have been added and yet continue to claim that the number of papers for which pages have been added is greater than this then that is blatant dishonesty.

    The only other explanation is that the facilities which lead to a page suggesting that papers have been added to when in fact they haven’t would suggest an underlying facility that is, at best, seriously flawed.

    Why not be straightforward about this and either alter the page claiming papers to which pages have been added so as to show either the few for which this is true or drop this page altogether until it can show something for which you can feel proud to proclaim?

  • Mike Mitchell

    Dear Brightsolid team. I thought it only fair to copy you in on the email I have just sent to Ms Rachel Austin at the British Library. My patience with the appalling service you provide is almost exhausted, and unless I see the promised massive upgrade in a couple of days I will be taking my complaints to the Authorities mentioned. After all, as I cannot do my research, I have time on my hands.

    Dear Ms Austin
    It is now the end of the promised week and 430 pages have been added. A new message has been posted by BNA saying the new pages are “extremely close”. I assume that is the next level after “a few weeks” and “the end of the week”. Perhaps in a couple of days we will be told that it is “microseconds away”.

    I have applied for an extension of my subscription as the site has been of little use to me for about three months now, but this has been declined (twice) on the grounds that the t’s and c’s do not guarantee any level of service.

    As you will note from the blog, several other subscribers are getting to the end of their patience.

    I believe I may have a case with the Trading Standards Authority as well as the Advertising Standards Authority, as I consider the t’s and c’s may contain unfair contract terms, and the advertising is clearly misleading. If nothing happens in a couple of days I think I will have little choice but to apply pressure another way.

    Does the British Library have no influence in this JV?

    Dr Mike Mitchell

  • Mike Mitchell

    Dear Brightsolid team
    May I suggest how you might have handled your customers differently?
    In the Spring you should have told us that a major upgrade was planned, which would have the effect of speeding up the upload of pages etc, but that this would mean that new content would not be added for four months.
    You should then have apologised for this, but offered us two alternatives. One would have been to continue the subscription on the basis of existing pages only, and the other to suspend the subscription (with no access to existing content) until new content was added. We would then be being treated like adults, able to make an informed choice. A small (say 1 month) extension would have been nice.as a gesture.
    Thereafter you would give full updates, with estimates of when the new content would be added. If delays were experienced, as they clearly have been, tell us what the reasons are, and say how they affect the programme.
    We all want a better service, and most of us have been around long enough to understand that this involves temporary disruption.
    Had you done it this way, I suspect you would not be reading the blog posts you are.

  • Keith Robertson

    I agree with the criticisms. Can we have an accurate answer as to what will be made available and when. Can we have a date for the end of “this week”?Also the compensation to annual subscribers.

  • K Stammers

    On press release dated 29-11-12 it was stated 10000 pages are added every day, 7 days a week to the website. No “up to” mentioned, a stated fact.
    The next we hear from BNA is on 21-06-13 where it says “We are currently working on upgrading our newspaper ingest system which means that there will be a slow down in terms of the number of pages that we add to the site over the next week” This is the longest week I personally have ever know.
    Total pages quoted 29-11-12 was 6,000,000
    Total pages quoted 21-06-13 was 6,913,016
    An increase of 913,016

    However, there were 173 days between these dates. 173 x 10,000 pages quoted above, should mean an increase of 1,730,000.
    Surely this is covered by Sheila’s post 20-09-13 re Trading Standards complaints if “The Trader has made false claims about goods or services which you have found not to be true”

  • Keith Robertson

    The silence says it all.

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hello Everyone,

      Thank you for your comments.

      While some more new content has just been added to the site, we hope that many more new pages will arrive on the site by the end of this week.

      We apologise for the added delay on this, but we are working hard to process this new content using the new Ingest system.

      Kind regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • Jon P

    Ingest away me hearties … (sorry, talk-like-a-Pirate day was last week).

    No reason for the scanning side of things to have halted these last 4 months so I hope (now that the new system is up and running) that we have some rapid progress on that backlog.

    Thanks to K Stammers for the useful stats above – I’m sure we’ll all be measuring progress from now on.

  • Keith Robertson

    You must know the new content, please let your subscribers know.
    The BNA team have not given one definitive answer.
    Thanks for your kind regards,but the truth would be more welcome

  • Damien Kimberley

    Hi, i’ve been informed that you are due to include the Coventry Standard and Coventry Herald that cover the 1880s period. As i’ve renewed recently for a year, can you please give me an indication as to when this will happen (examples of thousands of pages added daily etc) as this is key to my work. thanks

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Damien,

      Thanks for your post.

      Sorry, we can’t give dates for when new titles will appear on the site, because there are so many processes (and variables) to work through before a new title appears on the site.

      But at the moment, we post all the new titles (and new content to existing titles) on this page, in the green area at the top of the page:

      http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/home/NewspaperTitles

      We’re sorry we can’t be more precise and more helpful on this at the moment.

      Kind regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • Jane Jones

    We seem to have come to a standstill again. Not 10,000 pages a day as promised on the front page of the site, not the increased amount as also promised on the front page. No, not even 10,000 pages a week since service resumed. Clearly it was an attempt to stop us moaning – but unless you keep producing the pages, BNL, the moaning will continue.

    And what is Ingest? The Wikipedia definition is “the consumption of a substance by an organism” or a “mechanism picking up something and making it enter an internal hollow of that mechanism” Are they telling us the machines have swallowed all the pages?

  • Glen

    I am one of the 36,000 members of the Great War Forum Kate Wills referred to recently. I live in London and so have access to Colindale but with the closure upon us I thought I’d subscribe to BNA as a temporary stop gap.

    I have been following this car crash scenario of failed communications with paying customers with absolute horror and will most definitely be keeping my wallet far away from BNA.

    I will monitor the situation but dearly hope the recent restructure of Brightsolid means that BNA et al willl now have to stand on their own two feet rather than have the rest of the company cover their failings and they will learn that “customer service” is not just a platitude mentioned by clueless managers in meetings. In the meantime, I will revist this now bookmarked page to see if BNA has improved.

  • John

    Yesterday’s page count was 957,440. This morning it is 957,418. So, either the page count is a load of BS, or pages are vanishing from the site. Well done BNA.

  • Damien

    looks like some of the pages may have been ‘ingested’ John ;)

  • Kate Wills

    We have been thrown promises or completely ignored since June. I have alerted BBC Radio 4′s daily consumer programme ‘You & Yours’ to this situation

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/contact-forms/you-and-yours/

    Please send them you thoughts on this saga. Perhaps, with more evidence from short-changed subscribers, they will run an expose of this shoddy affair on the BBC.

  • K Stammers

    If you google Brightsolid The Future for Family History, you will find an article dated 1st Oct 2013. At the bottom of the page it states at least 8000 pages are added to the site every day.

    BNA – Please will you give your reasons for such blatant false advertising, both on this site and Brightsolid. I would like to know the last time at least 8000 pages were added to the site in one day.

  • John

    Hey, according to the page counter there have been 20 pages added today. That’s pretty close to 8,000..

  • Kate Wills

    For those who are not members of Facebook, BNA posted this there on the 23rd September:

    “We are processing lots of new pages at the moment, which are just about to arrive on the site – it is imminent. And, as stated in the notice on our homepage, we will be ‘gradually increasing to almost double the previous process limits of about 10,000 pages/day. We’re hoping that these new pages will start arriving on the site by Thursday (26th September). I’ll post again, once the new content is on the site. Regards, Grant.”

    Didn’t happen.
    23 September at 16:57 · Like

  • Promenade

    Having researched WW1 for many years now the provision of (at least part) of the legendary Colindale newspaper collection through the internet was a dream come true – I would consider myself one of the last to complain at such a valuable resource. However I find myself appalled at the behaviour of the British Newspaper Archive under the auspices of Brightsolid. I am afraid that having given them the benefit of the doubt for almost four months now my patience has now run out, the promise of ‘jam tomorrow’ is now no longer valid. I can only come to two possible conclusions either the BNA is a) in acute financial difficulties or b ) they have insurmountable technical issues (maybe both). It is just not good enough and should be of grave concern to the British library who chose them as a partner. I have now decided to join others in complaining to all concerned.

  • John

    October 4th – minus 20 pages.

    October 5th – plus 20 pages.

    October 6th – Diddly-squat yet again.

    Oh well, enough moaning – let’s all cheer up by reading some brightSolid quotes from their corporate website..

    “brightsolid is an organisation that is defined by its people, products and customer needs – we look for people who are passionate about living digitally, and helping our customers do the same.”

    “Don’t live with good enough – it’s not good enough! We go the extra mile to surpass expectations. We overcome challenges by taking ownership, being responsible, and caring.”

    “Our work often involves us partnering globally with organisations, and it is important to us that we work with people who share the same values we do. We are proud to be partnering with Digital Divide Data in our digitisation project with the British Library.”

    “..our belief in using the power of the internet to simplify, improve and sometimes transform the experiences of our customers.”

  • K Stammers

    Can we PLEASE know what is going on. Is there ANOTHER problem? If so, can we have an honest answer as to what has happened and how long it is going to take before we start getting the promised new pages. (20 since the 3rd October!!!).
    Please have the courtesy to respond to the comments already given by your paying customers.

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    I phoned the Help Desk today and asked why the page count was not increasing and was told that it took a few days for it to work through the system.
    I mentioned the message on the Home Page which referred to 10,000 pages but no explanation was offered.
    However I see that this message has now been replaced by “The Art of Etiquette”
    The Executive for BNA who deals with the British Library is Richard Callison but direct contact with him is not possible it seems.

  • Jane Jones

    Surely it would be “The Art of Etiquette” if someone from BNA could let us know exactly what is going on, and give a truthful answer.

  • Kate Wills

    I lodged the following complaint earlier today:

    Dear BNA team,

    In early July I renewed my annual subscription to the BNA. By then new content had already been absent for at least three weeks, but I believed your assurances that this would be counterbalanced by much more new content “soon”.

    What is your definition of soon?

    Almost four months complete standstill has ensued, broken only recently by a handful of new pages, rather than the long-promised torrent. Indeed, I feel sure that those token pages would not have appeared at all had it not been for the increasing anger and frustration lodged by customers in the Service Announcements section of your blog.

    That customers feel cheated is hardly surprising, when you continue to lure them in with a lie. New pages are not added daily, or monthly; yet your homepage strapline continues to peddle this obvious lie. The page total today is exactly the same as yesterday and last week. The recent belated appearance of a thimbleful of new content has barely shifted the counter.

    BNA, I have to admire your chutzpah in stating that you do not think your actions are dishonest. They are. Additionally, ignoring customers’ concerns on the site and Facebook is the cyber-equivalent of a rude gesture; though the empty promises and platitudes given were not much better.

    I intend to take this to the Advertising Standards Authority and Office of Fair Trading, but before doing so, I invite your comments, especially concerning compensation for taking my subscription money under false pretences, in selling me access to a static collection, rather than the advertised daily new content promised on your site.

    Yours faithfully

    Kate Wills

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hello Everyone, thank you for your comments. New content is being uploaded to the site, and we’re hoping that many more pages will arrive very shortly. We are very sorry for the added delay on this. If you have any general queries, please feel free to contact our Customer Support Team at support@britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk. Best regards, The BNA Team.

  • John

    BNA Team, why not answer those points that have been raised? We do not need your meaningless generic responses, especially when we’ve heard them before..

  • Jane Jones

    I asked the Customer Support Team if there was to be compensation for the disruption. They replied; “when the subscription is due for renewal a 15% discount will be applied to the renewal cost”. I looked up how much that would be and noticed that I received a 15% loyalty discount last year, so I asked if this was an additional discount.

    The answer? “The 15% discount mentioned our previous reply is not additional, this is the loyalty discount that is applied to the renewal cost should the subscription be renewed”.

    Even a simple answer had a veil of deception.

  • Damien

    looks like the pages have dried up once again. We should have seen 40,000 pages added over the last two days but nothing, what happened?
    plus, why can’t you tell us which titles are due up next? why cant we put in requests? every day i check in on a site where i have paid a full years subscription to see that the titles that i have been told are at some point due to be added, are not.

    Don’t get me wrong, this is an absolutely fantastic resourse, and i have totally benefitted from last years subscription, but its all gone flat.

    please talk to us.

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hello Damien,

      Thanks for your comment.

      We do apologise for the current slowness in the upload of the new pages to The Archive.

      There is a reason for this. The detailed process of uploading new content to the BNA website also involves a third party contractor in the USA, who use a US Library of Congress system to verify BNA data. Unfortunately, since the start of the US budget crisis/impasse, this library system has been switched off and nobody from the US govt is working on this system at the moment.

      There is now a workaround plan that our contractor has been implementing, but, frustratingly, this has had an adverse effect on the addition of new pages to the BNA.

      I can assure you that we are working on this.

      I’m sorry that, at the moment, I can’t give you a precise answer about when this – very unexpected – problem will be resolved.

      Best regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • Kate Wills

    OK, so that may expalin the last few days, but not the previous FOUR MONTHS.

  • Kate Wills

    This is becoming farcical. Ever heard of customer service? Any other company would have offered compensation or a refund without being asked. Since you seem determined not to do this (perhaps your coffers are diminished by the number of customers you have lost of late) may I propose a plan which will cost you nothing at all, assuming a resumption of new content ever happens:

    Offer your subscribers a wish list of 12 titles (of say a 10 year span each) to be uploaded as soon as ‘normal’ service resumes.

  • Keith Robertson

    Nice to hear from the BNA Team, I was beginning to think they were a figment of my imagination. While this explains recent problems, I agree with Kate Wills that it does not explain the last four months when I have been paying for platitudes.

    What is the BNA going to do to compensate subscribers?

  • Jane Jones

    That would be an excellent idea, Kate. The answer is likely to be, “With so many susbscribers, it would be too difficult to implement.” However, they could at the very least offer it to the subscribers who have made complaints on here and to the BNL direct.

    I am also surprised that there is no trialled and tested back-up plan in place for when things go wrong, especially when using third party contractors from overseas.

  • K Stammers

    On the 25th September you said upgrade is now live and said how the number of pages would increase.
    On your response to Damien you blame the US Library of Congress closure on the adverse effect on the addition of new pages.
    However, according to the internet, the Library of Congress closed on the 1st October and since then we have had 15262 pages added!!!. Prior to the closure and since the upgrade went live we had 6874 pages, so what were your excuses for that.
    Will you please give a thorough response as to how we get more pages when according to you there is a reason for reduction of uploading!!

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    It would be nice, just for once, if BNA could be proactive & tell us of problems like the Third Party Contractor in the USA without waiting for complaints/comments.
    To my mind this is just good customer service/relations.
    With that in mind perhaps we can be told when we can expect the system to back up & running bearing in mind that the US Budget crisis is over, at least for the time being.

  • K Stammers

    I have been looking at the BNA facebook page and now realise this has been going on longer than I realised. On the 27th Feb they said “You may have noticed that there has been a slight slow down to the number of pages added to the site in the last few days. This is for a very good reason, I promise… We are currently making some improvements to our ingest process so that we can increase the number of pages we add to the site daily” etc.
    So it would appear this has been going on for at least 8 months, with the same promises being given but these promises never seem to materialise.

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Kate, Jane, Keith, John and Stephen,

      Thank you for your comments.

      The reason for the earlier delay was because we were moving across to the new system for uploading content to the site – the delay over the past two weeks is a result of the US budget crisis.

      We do apologise for these delays and understand your frustration (it’s frustrating for us, too).

      Kate/Jane, unfortunately, we think it would be very difficult to ask every subscriber for a wish list of 12 titles they would like to see on the site. There are numerous points to consider when working to secure new content. For example, arranging the content (especially the in-copyright material) can require negotiation with rights-holders, and there are many other variables to consider when it comes to arranging content. But we do welcome and discuss the feedback we receive about what people would like to see on the site – which we often receive at the events we attend. In general terms, the aim with the content is to try and cover as much of the UK and Ireland as possible, so that all the various regions have content specifically relevant to them.

      Jane, we take your point about having a back-up plan to cover all eventualities. However, this was a very unexpected problem. That said, our contactor has been working on a back-up plan.

      John, yes, we have managed to upload some new content to the site since the US budget crisis started, as our third party contractor came up with a temporary (albeit slower) workaround – hence the arrival of some new content since 1 October.

      We’re sorry we can’t be more helpful at the moment, and we’ll post again when we have more news.

      If you have any general queries, please contact our Customer Support Team at support@britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk.

      Best regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • John

    All points answered but the issue of repaying us for the money you have obtained under false pretences is, once again, sidestepped.

  • Christine Hoggarth

    BNA

    Whilst you have addressed issues raised over the last few days regarding the non appearance of long promised content, you have once again totally avoided the issue of compensation for subscribers. I understand you are yourselves frustrated, however, as a paying customer that is of no interest to me, all I am interested in is receiving value for money. When i renewed my subscription it was on the understanding that there would be new content uploaded on a daily basis. As a paying customer I am not unreasonable, I accept that there will be a day here or there where contractual targets are not met, eight months is unacceptable. I would not expect financial compensation as I do not wish for your business to fail, what I would expect is an extension on existing subscriptions. You cannot ignore your customers or the matter of compensation, let us have an open and complete response to all questions raised.

  • K Stammers

    Thanks for your response. However, you state that earlier delays were due to moving across to the new system, but once again I point out that you said upgrade is now live on the 25th Sept and page numbers would gradually increase. We had 3 days of 2104, 3966 and 804 then nothing until after the US problems (3rd October, when we had 4812 new pages).
    If your third party contractor has come up with a temporary (albeit slower) workaround, how come we are not getting a reduced number of pages daily? We seem to get a few pages for 3 or 4 days then nothing at all.
    Now the crisis seems to be over for now, are the numbers going to increase to anywhere near those promised?

  • Keith Robertson

    Along with others, I notice that the BNA answer does not mention compensation for the lack of a service anything like that promised.
    Please address this issue.

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Christine, John, Keith and John,

      Thanks for your comments.

      John (Stammers), yes, content was beginning to flow to the site, and a temporary (though slower) workaround was eventually arrived at. But I’m informed that there is now a problem with something called the docworks export, which has been identified as a bug – and this stopped the upload of new content. The person in charge of this part of the process tells me that they are currently re-exporting content and that he hopes to see more new content on the site by Monday. More positively, he also tells me that there is a large batch of content currently queued in the system. Now that the US budget crisis appears to be over, once the bug I mentioned has been fixed, then we expect this large batch of content to be uploaded to the site as quickly as possible.

      Christine/Keith/John, sorry, but I don’t believe that there are currently any plans to offer compensation.

      Again, if you have any general queries, please contact our Customer Support Team at support@britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk.

      Best regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • Damien

    “In general terms, the aim with the content is to try and cover as much of the UK and Ireland as possible, so that all the various regions have content specifically relevant to them.”

    All Coventry titles for the 1880s for me please ;)

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Damien,

      Thanks for that.

      I imagine that’s what you call being sent to Coventry 1880s-style.

      Regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • Kate Wills

    Fellow subscribers:

    This is the 116th post on this thread, so for the sake of summarizing this ongoing saga is it fair to state that our position is:

    1. We have been mis-sold services by the BNA, who have failed to deliver their advertised daily new content for the past four months, and given a very patchy service since February.

    2. We feel that compensation to match the the ‘downtime’ is only fair and reasonable, and are prepared to accept this in the form of extensions to our subscriptions.

    3. As a means of healing relations with BNA, we ask that our choice of titles be prioritised once (and if) the uploading of new content is resumed.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Dear BNA,

    Perhaps it is time for you to step back and study your responses to your customers. Your messages, when you do bother to visit, are peppered with can’t, won’t, don’t, not possible, “We’re sorry we can’t be more precise and more helpful…” etc etc etc

    Why not try a different approach? Why not meet your weary paying customers half-way with some positive action? Why not try saying yes, and this unsightly row might come to a sudden end.

  • John

    Fair enough BNA – you have no plans to extend our subscriptions to cover the period when you were in breach of your contractual obligations. I have no plans to re-subscribe to your shoddy, dishonest service. You have taken money from me once under false pretences – you will not do the same again.

  • http://TheBritishNewspaperArchive Jim

    I am with John here. I have just unclicked auto renew for my subscription. I would suggest evryone does likewise. It is of course your perogative to run your company as you see fit, but wow what a shambloic way to do it. You’ll get no more income from me. All you have to do is offer an extension of subsrctipons for say three months as a gesture of goodwill (even though it has really been about 9 months since a service anywhere advertsied has been on offer). I will leave the rest to be picked up by the Office of Fair Trading.

  • Jane Jones

    I reckon that somewhere in the region of 1,500,000 pages are missing from when things “slowed down” and then stopped completely. However, I am not forgetting that for every day that a few trickle through, we are still short of 10,000 for that day. So add the 450,000 that should be puclished between now and Christmas and take of 27,000 that have dripped through in the past three weeks. Can BNA promise that they will produce just short of 2million pages before Christmas? I would accept that answer

  • Jane Jones

    Or rather, I would accept that answer if it was “Yes”

  • Kate Wills

    BNA,

    Can I please refer you back to K Stammers post on 23rd September:

    “On press release dated 29-11-12 it was stated 10000 pages are added every day, 7 days a week to the website. No “up to” mentioned, a stated fact.”

    I don’t suppose I’m the only customer to be keeping a close watch on your page counter, or to have followed Jim’s advice in unchecking the automatic subscription renewal.

    Your performance over the last fortnight is:

    6,957,460 Monday 7th Oct
    6,957,460 Tues 8th Oct
    6,959,318 Wed 10th Oct
    6,967,890 Sat 12th Oct
    6,967,890 Mon 14th
    6,967,890 Tue 15th Oct
    6,967,890 Wed 16th Oct
    6,969,484 Fri 18th Oct
    6,971,832 Sat 19th Oct
    6,972,086 Mon 21st Oct

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    BNA made a comment on this blog on the 18th October stating that we should see a lot more content by today.
    None of use should be surprised that this has not been forthcoming.
    I phoned the Help Desk (01382 210100 ) but surprise, surprise they had no information.
    They will contact the Executive Mr Collison to determine the current state of affairs.
    I have made the point forcibly that if statements about content are made which are not delivered upon, it should be no surprise to them that individuals complain.
    In addition I have made the point yet again that BNA should be pro-active in providing status updates.
    Looking at a similar blog on FindMyPast it is interesting to note the quick responses to queries following the recent release of new material which just proves it can be done.

  • Kate Wills

    BNA,

    Another problem has reared an ugly head. Try as I might, I am unable to Like posts or add comments to your Facebook page. Please tell me it is not a gagging order.

  • Kate Wills

    Many thanks to Vicky of the BNA’s Support Team, who kindly responded swiftly to my phone call:

    “…I have been advised that there was an outage with facebook today which has now been resolved…”

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    That’s the good news.

    The bad, that I should jump to the conclusion of gagging, is a symptom of the service we have come to expect, as outlined in the foregoing posts.

  • Jane Jones

    I thought things were on the move again – but nothing has happened since the weekend. What’s the excuse this week BNA?

  • Stephen Emlyn-Jones

    I have managed to establish that Richard Callison, the Executive in charge of BNA is/was in London yesterday/today for a meeting (draw your own conclusions !)
    I have both his home and mobile phone numbers !

  • Ken Mason

    Have we come to a complete standstill again?.
    Nothing new for several days. In 20 days we have seen an average of 2,000 pages a day. This project could well take 40 years to complete at the going rate, not the anticipated 10 years.

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Ken,
      Thanks for your post, and apologies for the delay in replying to you.
      No, we’re not at a standstill – we’re still uploading new content.
      The new content is listed on this page:
      http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/home/NewspaperTitles
      Kind regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • Jane Jones

    In September , BNA posted “We are now pleased to announce that new pages will begin to appear on the site later this week, gradually increasing to almost double the previous process limits of about 10,000 pages/day.” When does current “2,000 pages a day” even get to the well-publicised and promised “10,000″ a day, let alone “double the previous process limits”? BNA said they had continued to scan during the disruption, and the new process would make uploading quicker. There was a backlog of nearly four months worth of pages already scanned and, I assume they are still scanning, so why are there only 2,000 pages a day coming through?

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Jane,

      Thanks for your comment.

      We are still refining the uploading process to maintain a balance between quality and speed.

      Since the beginning of November, we have been uploading thousands of new pages every week, but aiming to move this ever upward. So we will continue to increase the number of new pages being uploaded to the website daily.

      The project as a whole is an extremely complex process, so there will always be peaks and troughs in the number of new pages arriving on the site, but you can expect plenty more in the months to come.

      Best regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • Jamie

    I took out a subscription in August and have followed these exchanges but have not previously posted a comment on this thread. I still don’t feel I have a picture of what is going on with the uploading problem. I would really appreciate a more complete and franker explanation from the BNA team of the issues which are slowing the uploading process (which has only improved marginally in recent weeks). This would help users to judge whether this (potentially great) site is likely to be useful for their research in the near to medium-term. Secondly it would be very helpful to have an explanation of the selection critieria for titles/years. It seems random. I would have thought that it would be best to prioritise uploading complete runs of the major regional titles before moving on to small-circulation and local titles. But maybe there are technical or other reasons why this is not being done. Please let us know what logic is being followed so that we can get a clearer idea of when the titles/years/regions we are interested in might become available.

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Jamie,

      Thanks for your comment.

      We’re continuing to work on the publishing process and are gradually increasing volumes. Rather than dazzle you with jargon, it’s fair to say that we are tweaking both our hardware and software to increase the number of pages coming through.

      We plan to post a detailed answer on the site regarding how we select titles in 2014. As you rightly guess, it is an immensely complex task with multiple inputs, but we plan to make this much more visible in future. Our over-riding priority at present is to make sure we have the broadest time and geographical coverage.

      Best regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • Jamie

    Looking forward to the detailed answer on selection of titles – I hope EARLY in 2014! In the meantime I am keeping my fingers crossed that the further issues of the Yorkshire Post will be uploaded soon, especially for the C20. You started, but then stopped…

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Jamie,

      We are uploading more 20th Century content – especially for the years 1914 to 1918.

      Hopefully, when we do provide information about the selection of titles, there will be some info about titles for the Yorkshire area.

      Best regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • Nick King

    Yes, adding to the further comments – it would be useful to know if the upload speed is going to be increased, as I can’t really justify an annual subscription of c. £75 to continue access if substantially more titles aren’t going to be uploaded. Given that the past year has basically only seen 2/3 of the year (with the 4 month hiatus) with new content being uploaded, and the continual refusal of the BNA team to take that into account for subscription renewals, I think I’ll take a year out and just check the “new issues” listed every now and again before renewal…

    I’m sure I’m not the only one out there that has the same feelings on the whole matter…

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Nick,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Yes, we are planning to increase pace on this and are already making good headway. We hope you’ll stay with us, not least to make sure you get the benefit of your loyalty discount when you renew.

      Kind regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • Nick King

    With your continual refusal to acknowledge that 4 months out of 12 (i.e. 1/3 of the year) you never added any new titles, I’m afraid I won’t be renewing…. I’ll wait (maybe) a year to see what titles arrive and then review this…

    You really should seriously think about the poor service you’ve given over the past year – it’s dreadful…

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Nick,

      Thanks for your reply.

      We’re sorry to hear that you won’t be renewing your subscription.

      We have been uploading lots of new content to the website, and this is continuing.

      And we hope that when you see all the new content that is arriving on the website, you might change your mind about using the site again.

      Best regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • Victor Welland

    Over two years but still no Nuneaton titles. I don’t know how you choose which to include but I’ma patient fellow!

    Victor Welland

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hi Victor,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Am glad you’re a patient chap.

      The rationale behind the choice of newspaper titles it to cover as many UK and Irish locations as possible, and also to cover as many years as possible between 1700 and 1950.

      In 2014, we plan to publish more info about the criteria for choosing content for the website.

      There should still be plenty of stories about Nuneaton, even if, at the moment, there are not any newspaper titles for Nuneaton itself.

      Best regards,
      The BNA Team.

  • Victor Welland

    The archive had been running two years now but still no Nuneaton newsapers. I’m looking forward to them but patiently.

  • Jamie

    Thanks for the recent spurt in uploads – including the Yorkshire Post, as requested.

  • Charles Lawson

    My subscription expired today but I will not be renewing due to your failure to offer compensation for the poor service you offered in the 4 months with no updates.

    • The British Newspaper Archive

      Hello Charles,

      Thanks for your comment about the BNA project.

      We’re sorry that you won’t be renewing your subscription.

      Now that we’ve moved across to the new ingest system, we have been uploading lots of new content to the website, and are continuing to do so.

      We hope that when you see all the new content that is arriving on the website, you might change your mind about using the site again in the future.

      Best regards,
      The BNA Team.