Google Drops Some History On You

    September 8, 2008
    Chris Crum

"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.