Wednesday 18 February 2015

Fancy a month's sub to the Irish Times Archive for €1?

Click for full details of the new subscription model
The Irish Times (IT), traditionally Ireland's newspaper of record, will be introducing a new subscription model from Monday 23 February. The objective is to get the publication's online presence to start paying more of the bills – a cause common among print publications, these days. It means that those who have been happily receiving most of their news via the previously free-of-charge online IT, are going to find their news reading severely curtailed.

I admit to having been one of the freeloaders (I'm in good company here!) and I won't much care for being restricted to just 10 news stories a week under the new regime for non-subscribers to the digital edition.

Fortunately, there are some good alternatives to the IT, and I frequently read them anyway, so switching to another non-charging news site isn't going to be such a big deal. But that's not the issue here; there's more to this development than access to the daily news, and it's of particular interest to Irish family historians.

In addition to getting unlimited access to on your computer, tablet and smartphone, the new standard digital subscription of €12 a month will provide full access to the Irish Times Archive. This archive holds all editions of the paper right back to its very first year of publication: 1859. That's an archive of more than 10million articles. Digital versions are available right the way up to the present, with a digital copy of all new editions uploaded to the archive one week after publication. There's also a text version of articles from 1996 onwards.

There are other benefits to the subscription, and, indeed, other subscription options right down to home delivery of the print publication on top of the digital features, but it's this online archive access that may swing it for the genealogist.

For a start, this new model makes the Irish Times Archive much better value than previously. The 'old' subscription rates for Archive access were pretty horrendous: annual £395 / 30 days €65 / weekly €26 / 24 hours, €10.

The new subscription of €12 a month looks so much more attractive!

When the new subscription model comes to life on Monday, there will be an introductory first-month offer of just €1. Subscriptions are paid in advance and are automatically renewed unless cancelled. You have to give 10 days' notice to cancel. You'll find all the features of the different subscription plans and their costs by clicking the image above.

I don't suppose I'll be the only one who signs up for the standard sub and blitzes that Archive over the following four weeks before cancelling.