Google gives old magazines new life online

Online newsstand: Google fills out search index with current, old magazines

Google announced late yesterday that it's teaming up with a slew of publishers to give old magazines new life -- by bringing them online.

Users will be able to search for current and old magazines, like New York Magazine, Popular Mechanics and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, through Google Book Search, according to a blog post by Dave Foulser, a software engineer at Google.

"Over time, as we scan more articles, you'll see more and more magazines appear in Google Book Search results," wrote Foulser. "Eventually, we'll also begin blending magazine results into our main Google.com search results, so you may begin finding magazines you didn't even know you were looking for. For now, you can restrict your search to magazines we've scanned by trying an advanced search."

Google has also been digitizing books since 2006.

This news comes on the heels Google's announcement last month that it planned to archive as many as 10 million photos and digitized images from the Life magazine archives. Some of the images date back to the 1750s, and many have never been published.

This latest addition to the search giant's data coffers comes in the midst of an ambitious Google effort to add offline content like newspaper archives to its site. In September, the company launched a project to digitize millions of pages of news archives, making millions of old newspaper articles searchable online.

In his blog post Tuesday, Foulser noted that users will be able to pull up an article in a 1973 issue of Ebony about Hank Aaron pursuing Babe Ruth's record. "You can read the article in full color and in its original context, just as you would in the printed magazine," he added. "In many cases, these magazines aren't just history as history, but history as perspective -- a way of understanding today."

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Sharon Gaudin

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