The British Newspaper Archive website has just reached another milestone, as page number 20,000,000 was added to the site.
An astonishing figure of up to 25,000 pages are now being added to the site each day, and there are now well over 750 historical newspaper titles from the UK and Ireland.
The paper that tipped the scales was The Oswestry Advertiser. Subtitling itself as the North Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Mercury & Journal for the Principality of Wales this paper is a great example of a regional title which the Archive specialises in, covering counties in both England and Wales. All newspapers report on national and international news but it is the local titles that reveal the lost history of a county or town. It is those local events, perhaps long forgotten now, that shaped the history of a place and families that lived there.
The British Newspaper Archive launched in late November 2011 with a selection of newspapers from 19th Century. Today the website contains regional and national papers from the early 1700s to the 2000s. The site is used by a wide variety of researchers including historians, sports enthusiasts, fiction writers and genealogists.
Commenting on the milestone the Archive’s Development Manager Aoife O Connor said
This is a great achievement. Newspapers are the ultimate source of our nation’s history and they are also some of the most delicate items in archives, newspapers are often printed on soft paper which isn’t meant to last. Our digitisation and processing teams in Yorkshire and Scotland are helping preserve the history of the UK and Ireland and making it accessible to researchers worldwide.
The majority of the newspapers on the website come from the British Library Newspaper Collection, at the Library’s site at Boston Spa, Yorkshire. An on-site scanning team employed by Findmypast, the Library’s commercial partners in the project, scan and digitise the historical newspapers, which are then made searchable by a technical team in Dundee. Newspapers dating from 1 January 1910 onwards are considered to be still in-copyright, and have been digitised with the full permission of the rights-holders.
Recently the Archive added 8 titles from the Illustrated London News Group which include lavishly illustrated titles dating from the nineteenth century to the early 2000s including The Illustrated London News and the iconic Tatler & Bystander.
The website is free to search, with a range of pay as you go credit and subscription packages available to suit the different needs of researchers who wish to view the paid-for content. By registering, you can enjoy your first three page views completely free. Access to the resource is also free to users of the British Library’s Reading Rooms.