Saturday, 26 January 2019

British Newspaper Archive tots up to 30 million pages

Today, the British Newspaper Archive reached a new milestone with more than 30 million pages (30,011,612 pages to be precise) of historical newsprint digitised and available to search and view in its online database.

This means the project to digitise the British Library's Newspaper Collection, which dates back to the 1700s, is now three-quarters completed.

If there were such a title, this would be its front page today
The hard-copy collection, previously held at the BL's specialist library in Colindale, North London, was relocated to a hi-tech, purpose built storage facility in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire, back in November 2013; in a partnership between the BL and FindMyPast, digital copies of these historical publications began to appear online for the first time in the following year.

From the start, the collection has been hugely popular with genealogists of Irish and British heritage because the papers are full of genealogical and family history details, intrigue and colour, as well as providing the social and political context in which our ancestors lived their lives.

With today's milestone of 30 million pages achieved, the 10-year digitisation project appears to be comfortably ahead of schedule.

As of today, there are 146 historical Irish newspapers in the archive. Some 43 were published in the counties that now make up Northern Ireland; the remaining 123 titles were either national papers that would once have covered the entire island or local/regional papers in counties that now make up the Republic of Ireland.

The full online collection is available via the dedicated BNA site (see link above) and via some FindMyPast subscription packages*.

* Pro subscriptions via FindMyPast Ireland, FindMyPast UK and FindMyPast Australia/NZ; Ultimate subscriptions via FindMyPast.com.