British Library to scan 40m newspaper pages
Free Beano for family history sites
The British Library and its commercial partner brightsolid - a division of DC Thomson - are to digitise 40 million pages of old newspapers.
The library holds 52,000 national and international titles covering 300 years. Currently researchers, 30,000 a year, have to go to Colindale in north London to scan through microfilm or hard copies.
Under this agreement brightsolid will scan a minimum of four million pages within the next two years. Over ten years, as scanning technology improves, some 40 million pages will be scanned. This will include in-copyright material following negotiations with rights holders.
Once scanned the papers will be moved to a purpose-built storage facility in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire.
The digitised versions will be available for free to users at the British Library or online via a paid-for website. brightsolid will also use the content on its genealogy sites.
The company takes on the commercial and technical costs of the programme, although the Department of Culture, Media and Sport did hand over £33m for the newspaper storage facility.
The material will be organised along geographic lines as well as periods such as the census years between 1841 and 1911.
DC Thomson owns FriendsReunited and various family history sites as well as the Beano. ®
Some of that gov money is ours, how about some access to this information please?!
for me because I work 10 min away from the BL, but shouldn't it be made available for free ONLINE to all UK taxpayers? I mean, if they took the trouble to digitise it and all, they might as well use a fecking ELECTRONIC distribution system.
Is it really free?
So it is free if you can get to the British Library, i.e. London, but for most people in the UK without easy access to the Library, they will have to pay for it.