Friday, 5 October 2007

More Canadian newspaper digitization please

In the US, UK and New Zealand, governments are making progress in digitizing their national newspaper archives.

The latest example is from the National Library of New Zealand where Papers Past consists of "1,119,407 newspaper pages, comprising 207,668 issues: 49,983 newspaper issues with searchable text (comprising 367,720 pages and 3,860,541 articles); 157,685 newspaper issues without searchable text (comprising 751,687 pages)." They are all freely available.

With a population barely one-eighth that of Canada the New Zealand stats are impressive. Finding a hit for a Canadian, one of the Ottawa Company of Sharpshooters who served during the 1885 North West Rebellion, brought it home to me. I'd known William Henry Pardey went to New Zealand for the Massey company, and it was confirmed in this ad.

I mentioned another example back in March. Chronicling America allows you to search and read newspaper pages from 1900-1910 for papers from California, District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Utah, and Virginia. Each state had a target of 100,000 pages. These are the results of projects which started in May 2005, part of an initiative sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.

I learned this week that Sandra Burrows, the newspaper specialist at Library and Archives Canada, has retired. She was very knowledgeable and will be missed. I wish Sandy well. Apparently the position is vacant. I hope that's very temporary.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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