British Newspaper Archive's count of pages available to reseachers clicked over the 20 million milestone (to 20,005,334 pages, to be precise), thereby marking the half way point of the British Library's project to digitise and present online its 40-million-page historical newspaper library. The latter collection, as well as including a vast holding of British newspapers, is home to the single largest collection of Irish newspapers and other periodicals.
The online, pay-to-view archive – a partnership between the British Library and FindMyPast – launched on 29 November 2011 with an impressive 3million pages ready for on-screen exploration. Just three Irish titles were included: the Cork Examiner (1841-1846), Freeman's Journal (1820-1900), and Belfast Newsletter (1828-1900).
Six years later, the online archive holds 143 titles published on the island of Ireland; 106 were published in counties that now make up the Republic of Ireland and 37 titles were produced in counties now within Northern Ireland. They make up 19% of the BNA's entire online holding of 757 titles, and they are available to search on both the BNA's dedicated website (link above) and via FindMyPast as part of a Britain, Ireland or World subscription.
Since the 2011 launch of the BNA, the British Library's Newspaper Library at Colindale in north London was closed (2013) and the entire physical collection was relocated to a hi-tech purpose built storage facility in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire.
Congratulations to the British Newspaper Archive team!