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Google opens news archive

Won't save you a trip to the library, though

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If you ever suspected that the old days weren't quite as great as old folk reckon, or that the cock and bull stories told by politicians haven't changed one jot in two hundred years, you now have the means to find out without getting off your lazy backside and going to the library.

Google has opened a news archive that reaches back to the beginning of the 19th Century. And it's not bad, if a bit limited so far. There are just a few publications, like Time magazine and the UK's Guardian newspaper, that have given their news content over for free.

Others, like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal still want to charge people to read old news.

Still, a Google spokesman reckoned it was early days yet. More papers will be added, some of them even displaying our heritage for free.

But for now, for a thorough understanding of history, you will still have to go to the library. And for a thorough understanding of the future, libraries, for all their talk about progress, will have to go to Google.

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