British Newspaper Archive Goes Online

As reported today in the Independent:

Four million newspaper pages have been put online as part of a massive history project.

The British Newspaper Archive website includes pages from more than 200 different papers from across the UK and Ireland with first hand accounts of events including the wedding of Victoria and Albert and the Charge of the Light Brigade.

Ed King, the British Library’s Head of Newspapers, said it opened up the collection “as never before”.

He said: “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 goldmine 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.”

Stories covered include murder trials, tales of transportation to Australia and the rise of the railways.

The papers digitized date back to the early 18th century and cover cities and towns across the UK, including Manchester, Birmingham, Belfast, and Aberdeen.

You can search the British Newspaper Archive for free, but to access the pages themselves you need to pay a subscription fee of £6.95 for 2 days, £29.95 for 30 days or £79.95 for unlimited use for a year. Not cheap, but still better value than a train ticket to the British Library – not to mention far more convenient! This should be a very useful resource for many research projects with a UK-based historical, journalism or media focus.