09 March 2007

Did Google gobble Paper of Record?

Rumour has it that Ottawa-based newspaper digitization company Cold North Wind's stable of digitized newspapers has been recently acquired by the mighty Google. It would explain why the company's web site Paper of Record, which has been for sale for some while, can now offer free subscriptions.

Google already offers a news archive search, now in beta. The Paper of Record historical newspaper inventory does not presently appear to be part of that database, although other 19th century papers are, including some small runs of a few Canadian papers.

Google getting more heavily into newspaper morgues is exciting for genealogy. If you've found information of interest in your family history search in digitized versions of rare books in Google Books, or Microsoft's Live Search Books you'll appreciate the potential. Local papers are the paper of record for tens of thousands of communities. In them you find not only births, marriages and deaths recorded but a host of community happenings, scholarships, school graduations, sporting events, business openings and closings, military matters, club meetings, social notes and the whole minutiae of daily life which can help bring an ancestor to life, if only you can find the item on him or her.

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