Google expands effort to digitize newspaper archives

Google looking to make millions of old newspaper articles, from the Titanic to man's first trip to the moon, available online.

Google this week launched an effort to digitize millions of pages of news archives, making millions of old newspaper articles accessible and searchable online.

The company said Monday that it has begun partnering with publishers of newspapers like the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph to digitize content. The system will let users access past articles as they were printed, complete with photographs, headlines, articles and advertisements.

Google did not provide a full list of all the newspapers taking part in the project.

"Around the globe, we estimate that there are billions of news pages containing every story ever written," Google said in a blog post. "It's our goal to help readers find all of them, from the smallest local weekly paper up to the largest national daily."

As an example, Google noted the availability of an original 1969 article from the Post-Gazette on the landing of a man on the moon.

The project expands on past Google efforts to work with the New York Times and the WashingtonPost to digitize existing digital archives and make them searchable via the Google News Archive, Google added.

The new program lets users search for historical articles in the Google News Archive or by using the timeline feature in Google News, the company said.

"Not every search will trigger this new content, but you can start by trying queries like 'Nixon space shuttle' or 'Titanic located,' Google added. "Stories we've scanned under this initiative will appear alongside already-digitized material from publications like the New York Times as well as from archive aggregators, and are marked 'Google News Archive.'

"Over time, as we scan more articles and our index grows, we'll also start blending these archives into our main search results so that when you search Google.com, you'll be searching the full text of these newspapers as well," the company said.

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Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
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