Friday, September 08, 2006

Newspaper raptures

Newspapers often contain the best material for writing about history, but finding that material can be extremely difficult, particularly if you want anything from before, say, 1950. Which is why I am currently in raptures of excitement about Google News Archive.

Oh. My. God. Full-text search of newspapers! Newspapers dating back to the early 1800s! You have to pay to read a lot of the early stuff, but that's not such a huge issue, because once you've actually found an article there are always other (free) ways to read it, i.e. the in the newspaper reading room at the National Library. Anyone who has ever tried to use the handwritten index for the early years of the New York Times can appreciate how absolutely fabulous this website will be. The timeline feature is also pretty amazing - have a look, for example, at the evolving discussion about Bretton Woods.

So yeah, Google News Archive? Pretty darn exciting.

[Found via the ever wonderful Lifehacker - what exactly did we all do before that website existed?]


spy said...

It is as if God has come among us!! Another factor making historical research easier.

Mads said...

I'm not sure if I'd go that far, Sandro...