Google has started an ambitious project to digitally archive millions of pages of old newspapers.
In 2006, Google started working with the New York Times and the Washington Post to index existing digital archives and make them searchable via Google’s search technology. The new effort expands that initiative, with the goal of reaching every story ever printed, “from the smallest local weekly paper up to the largest national daily,” according to a post on Google’s official blog.
“For more than 200 years, matters of local and national significance have been conveyed in newsprint–from revolutions and politics to fashion to local weather or high school football scores. Around the globe, we estimate that there are billions of news pages containing every story ever written. And it’s our goal to help readers find all of them,” wrote Punit Soni, a product manager at Google, on Google’s blog.
Google plans to archive the stories exactly as they appeared on the original paper, not just text versions. The stories would include original photographs, headlines and advertisements as well.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company is partnering with ProQuest and Heritage, two online archiving companies, on the project.
“You’ll be able to explore this historical treasure trove by searching the Google News Archive or by using the timeline feature after searching Google News . Not every search will trigger this new content, but you can start by trying queries like [Nixon space shuttle] or [Titanic located],” Soni wrote on the blog. “Over time, as we scan more articles and our index grows, we’ll also start blending these archives into our main search results so that when you search Google.com, you’ll be searching the full text of these newspapers as well.”