The National Library of Australia has launched a public beta of its 'Australian Newspapers' site. The site will offer access to scanned images and text from historic Australian newspapers dating from 1803 to 1954.
According to the NLA, the site currently "only contains a relatively small volume of data. More data will be added as it is processed, however there may be a delay before additional content is added."
The text of the articles has been automatically generated from scanned pages. However, users of the site will be encouraged to correct errors in articles.
The earliest newspaper currently available is the March 5, 1803, edition of the Sydney Gazette. A classified advertisement in the Gazette by John Jaques, a Sydney "taylor", is one of the articles that has been processed using OCR. It reads: "in confequence [sic] of the reduction that has lately taken place in the Prices of many Articles of common Consumption, he has been enabled to make an Abatement in his Charges, and that all Orders with which he may be honoured shall be carefully and punctually executed".