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Google Adds Digitized Newspapers - with formatting intact

     
1:20 am on Sep 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Today, we're launching an initiative to make more old newspapers accessible and searchable online by partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives...

Not only will you be able to search these newspapers, you'll also be able to browse through them exactly as they were printed -- photographs, headlines [news.google.com], articles [news.google.com], advertisements [news.google.com] and all.

Official Google Blog [googleblog.blogspot.com]

I like it a lot - in fact it's been something I've wished for quite often.

1:37 am on Sept 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Good thing I can fold my monitor. ;)

It should be emphasized that these are old newspapers, with a great interface. You can move an enlarged region of the page around in the viewing window and watch the indicator rectangle move around in the thumbnail of the page, or move the small rectangle around in the thumbnail and change the contents of the viewing window.

It's like a time machine... absolutely great. It may not replace those old piles of LIFE Magazine that I have in my garage, but for historical research this is going to be a treasure trove. Great thing for Google to do, more or less on its 10th birthday.

(As I think about it, I wish they had such an interface for Google maps. It seems natural that they would, but I don't remember that they do).

2:34 am on Sept 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This is cool stuff! The print industry should have been doing this all along...but I suppose they couldn't (didn't) figure out how to monetize the process. This is a project I hope they finish, unlike digitizing all the world's books. :)
2:53 am on Sept 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Am I missing something? I clicked the "advertisements" link in the OP above and ended up on a page where a search had been conducted on ford model T.

I changed the search term to a company that has existed since 1900. I got a search results page that listed a lot of articles, but it seems to actually read the articles I have to pay a fee to the newspaper.

Is that the purpose of this project or am I missing a method of reading the old articles free?

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6:10 am on Sept 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Very nice, now I can see if there still exists the time where I accidentally set my parent's house on fire when they were out of town.

There's one memory I'd like to never revisit, but would definitely like to see if they got it in there!

6:11 am on Sept 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ah Google can accelerate the death of print journalism by placing adsense next to dead tree ads. I know it's a cliche now to be scared of Google but seriously...

I wonder how big a room of 1TB drives it would take to match Google's worldwide capacity...

10:20 am on Sept 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Presumably some of those works they've linked to are still under copyright? I think it extends 70 years in many cases.

I found this, but it's UK law and the examples are from the US:
[bl.uk...] . There are probably better explanations out there.

My point is, to do this Google mostly has to come to agreements with the publications in question, so it won't be comprehensive for some time.

12:57 pm on Sept 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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So is there or is there not a way to read these old articles without paying for them? If not, that's OK. It's just that reading the first post made me think Google had made a lot of historic old papers available free online.

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8:49 pm on Sept 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Library’s have this but not online that I know of?

Google would have to give up on making a coin to make this a free service.
1:33 pm on Sept 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Very clever. Looks like they’ve used the Google map technology to display these news papers scans, and use OCR to associate the text to the images.

Think they got data from [newspaperarchive.com...] ?

The future of old books, reference documents etc.. will soon be replaced by virtual copies. Libraries will become just storage warehouses of originals that have been scanned to the internet. Where does it all end! Next you will be able to go to any street online!

[edited by: tedster at 11:57 am (utc) on Sep. 12, 2008]
[edit reason] make link clickable [/edit]