Newspaper archive planned for Web

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



(2004), "Newspaper archive planned for Web", The Electronic Library, Vol. 22 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Newspaper archive planned for Web

Newspaper archive planned for

British Newspapers 1800-1900 is a £2 million project, made possible through funding from the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE). The overall digitization programme is managed by the JISC, and represents a total investment of some £10 million to be applied to delivering high quality content online, including sound, moving pictures, census data and still images for long-term use by the further and higher education communities in the UK.

The newspapers will be selected in consultation with the further and higher education communities through an online consultation in the summer of 2004. Suggestions will also be sought from the newspaper industry, to maximize partnership potential. It is anticipated that national papers to be digitized will include The Morning Chronicle (a reformist newspaper with a young Charles Dickens as a reporter and WM Thackeray as art critic) and the Morning Post (who engaged writers such as Samuel Coleridge and William Wordsworth). Regional and local papers will be drawn from all regions of the UK.

In the nineteenth century, Britain transformed itself from an agricultural society to an unrivalled commercial, industrial and military superpower with an Empire that spanned the globe. British engineers and inventors, such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Robert Stephenson forged the Industrial Revolution, while social reforms, from the abolition of slavery, Catholic emancipation and the growing labour movement were to transform the lives of British people. This project will represent these and many other developments and bring them to life through newspaper accounts to provide an extraordinary resource for the further, higher education and research communities.

Many of the proposed titles were the definitive news sources of their day and include not only news, but editorials, features, advertisements, photographs – cumulatively representing a resource of very significant historical and cultural value.

Sir Ron Cooke, Chair of JISC, welcomed the new project, saying: “This is a marvellous example of collaboration between JISC and the British Library, one of our most important partners. Newspapers represent our culture in a unique way and JISC is proud to help create what will be an invaluable educational resource.”

Ed King, Head of the British Library’s newspaper collections in Colindale commented, “The British Library is committed to making our collections accessible to as many people as possible. Before the World Wide Web existed, readers had to visit the newspaper archive in Colindale to look at all aspects of the collections. This project is managed by the British Library, with funding provided by JISC. This means that digital copies will be available for Web users who can explore these early out-of-copyright editions in their entirety. We are delighted to be working with JISC on this major national initiative.”

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