Google launches digital index of print newspapers

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Google launches digital index of print newspapers

Google has launched an ambitious service which aims to put the world’s newspapers online in a free, searchable database.

The service, which went live today, allows users to search an index of print newspapers and view the original pages online.

To achieve this goal, Google has partnered with newspaper publishers to scan and index 'millions of pages' of news articles.

To assist with this, Google has brought on board two major partners: ProQuest, which specialises in electronic and microfilm publishing, and Heritage, which researches and produces custom history books.

Google plans to archive every newspaper around the world -- 'from the smallest local weekly paper up to the largest national daily'.

“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,” Google said in its official blog.

Currently the service includes the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, North America’s oldest newspaper, which has been publishing continuously for 244 years.

However, there are no specific plans to add Australian newspapers at this time.

Said a Google Australia spokesperson: “We’ll continue to add partners and digitise materials around the world on an ongoing basis. However we have nothing to announce at this time.”

To access this feature, users can search the Google News Archive or use 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].”

Eventually the service will be expanded so that searches from Google’s main page will search the newspaper index.

“This effort is just the beginning,” said Google. “As we work with more and more publishers, we’ll move closer towards our goal of making those billions of pages of newsprint from around the world searchable, discoverable, and accessible online."

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