30 August 2013

News on News: The British Newspaper Archive

With the impending closure of the Colindale Newspaper Library it has been a concern that progress on newspaper digitization on the British Newspaper Archives has come to a virtual halt. Only The Sunday Post (Glasgow) is shown as having added pages in the past 30 days.
It has been clear that the project was falling behind. More than two years after the start just under 7 million pages are digitized. The project has not been progressing at a rate that would achieve 40 million pages digitized in 10 years as originally targeted.

Now there's information from the project updating on the situation.
"We now have almost 7 million pages and with our new processing system we are going to be able to add around another 4 million pages in the next 12 months. Compare that with the (although rather impressive if we do say so ourselves), 3 million pages processed in the past 20 months since launch! However, in order to support this great improvement in production throughput, we have been very busy modifying our scanning and OCR workflow process. Don’t fear though, we have still been scanning titles and have almost 1 million pages ready to process. We are extremely sorry for the delay, but we will be able to start adding these pages within the next few weeks.
In addition, our licencing team have been working hard with publishers to secure access to even more 20th Century titles (up to 1953)! We’ll be able to give you more details shortly. We’re excited and can’t wait to tell you more!"
This is an important project for family history. It's good to see plans to get it back to the target digitization rate. Hopefully technological advance will allow catching up on the backlog.

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