“The launch of the British Newspaper Archive website opens up the British Library’s newspaper collection as never before,” said Ed King, the British Library’s Head of Newspapers. “Rather than having to view the items on-site at the Library, turning each page, people across the UK and around the world will be able to explore for themselves the gold-mine of stories and information contained in these pages – and the ability to search across millions of articles will yield results for each user, that might previously have been the work of weeks or months, in a matter of seconds and the click of a mouse.”
The British Newspaper Archive is the result of a ten-year partnership between the British Library and brightsolid, announced in May 2010. Over the past 12 months, brightsolid’s digitisation team, based at the British Library Newspaper Library at Colindale, has been digitising up to 8,000 pages of historic newspapers every working day. The project is expected to scan up to 40 million newspaper pages over the next ten years.
To date the project has concentrated on out-of-copyright material pre-dating 1900, but brightsolid is negotiating with a number of rightsholders to obtain permission to digitise a range of more recent newspaper runs from the early to mid-20th century. The site will continue to grow as newly-scanned pages are uploaded.
The British Newspaper Archive is free to search. To view the content in a newspaper page image, there is a choice of time-limited PPV (Pay Per View) or subscription packages. There are two PPV options available: the GBP6.95 package that lasts for 48 hours, and the GBP29.95 package that lasts for 30 days. The subscription package is priced GBP79.95 for one year.