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Google Drops Some History On You

Archives Newspapers

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"Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." It’s a statement you’re probably very familiar with at this point. It is also a statement that Google is still making good on as the latest project in line with this mission is digitally archiving the newspapers of history in a searchable way.

Post Gazette

Two years ago (almost to the day), Google launched its archive search for Google News, which lets users look at older news stories, but until now, this has been limited to online publications. Now Google is incorporating actual newspaper articles into the Google News archives, so you can view papers from long before Google or even the Internet ever existed.

From the sound of it, it’s going to be like having the world’s largest library microfiche at the click of a mouse. It will be very interesting to see what kind of a range of publications Google will be able to gain access to. Think about all of the small towns out there with their own newspapers. I can’t even begin to imagine how many there must be. A post on the Official Google Blog says that one of the company’s partners is the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, which is North America’s oldest newspaper, dating back over 244 years. The post discusses a number of American references, and it is unclear if this is going to be a global project, but I would assume that it will be eventually at least.

You might remember when Google introduced Google Book Search. It was also a pretty neat idea, but some publishers had problems with Google copying books and making them readily available online (they have even come quite a ways with that too though):

Google Book Search

Hopefully most publications will cooperate with Google on this project, because it really could be an invaluable resource for research of all kinds.The newspaper articles will be searchable just like the existing Google News archives. We will just presumably be seeing more and more of the new results as Google gets deeper into the indexing. The newspaper archive is going to be one huge project for Google to conquer, but I’m sure they didn’t think organizing the world’s information was going to be a small or easy task.

Google Drops Some History On You
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  • http://www.jtdesigns.com Jason

    I agree with Google and their outlook on being the most relevant search engine in the world.  They make for a better browsing/searching experience nd not to mention they offer a competitive ad maretplace that forces web marketers to be compliant and good at what they do.

    Google is dominating the search engine marketplace and has a high level of expectation on the site owners to make sure their sites are up to snuff.

  • Guest

    Google doesn’t create content, but links to others. They offered a Faustian deal to newspapers to digitize their past editions at no charge to them. However, the finished, digital pages reside on Google’s servers and do little to drive traffic to the newspapers’ websites. It can be argued that the finished digital pages belong to Google and not the news organization since Google did the work of digitizing them. I fear the news organizations have given away their valuable intellectual property.

    Newspapers have been late in digitizing their old editions because it is very expensive, especially for those with over a hundred years of publishing behind them. Then throw in the competition from eBay and Craig’s List and less revenue due to a poor economy and few newspapers have been able to afford to digitize their past daily pages.

    As a user of the Internet I applaud the ability to search in old editions of important newspapers. As a newspaper reader I worry that Google is stealing the intellectual property of those old established newspapers while giving little in return. If the newspapers were to disappear and their newsrooms were no longer operating the news gathering capability of the USA would be greatly reduced. Google would still have the digital copies of their historic editions. For some reason I am reminded of the shadows of the dead burned onto the walls of Hiroshima.

    I once saw Ariana Huffington in a panel discussion where she proclaimed that the days of newspapers were numbered. However, most Huffington Post stories appear to begin, "in the NY Times or the Washington Post today". I haven’t seen any other form of news gathering which has the integrity or reach of the traditional local newspaper. TV News and Cable News are more entertainment centered and the Internet is simply an aggregate of stories from elsewhere. The demise of newspapers in this country will be a black day indeed.

  • http://hubpages.com/hub/Peter-Monroe Peter Monroe

    Yeah… I don’t know why any newspaper would want to do this.  Any paper with a large archive only needs to digitize it and put it online.  This will drive a huge amount of traffic to their own websites, and this can be monetized.

    • Ian

       Digitized newspapers will happen. I receive Sydney Morning Herald on-line.

      But newspapers will remain in their current format for many years because of the convenience of being able to take it with you whereever you go.

  • http://www.gogimon.com search channel

    Google literally boggles the mind. Sometimes a company in its quest  to  make profit  actually does good things for  everybody. The idea that  all newspapers from all time could be accessable to all is just a good thing. Google would not be doing this if it wasn’t making money but this allows great things to happen.

    You got to love them

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