Monday, 7 January 2019

Heritage Made Digital - the newspapers

The British Library is now going beyond its Findmypast partnership and the British Newspaper Archive to digitize further legacy newspapers.

Why this new initiative?

"... the British Library has 60 million newspapers, from 1619 to the present day. After a decade or more of intensive work, we have digitised just 5%. There is a long, long way to go."
The greater part of newspapers processed by Findmypast come from our microfilmed copies, because it is so much easier and quicker to do so (about eighteen times quicker than digitising from print). But only a third of our collection of some 60 million newspaper issues has been microfilmed. Of the newspapers for which we have only print, some get digitised, but many do not. In part this is because of the condition of many of newspapers, often produced using low-quality newsprint and for many years not stored in optimum conditions. We define preservation status of our newspapers under three categories: good, poor and unfit. Unfit no one gets to see, even onsite, unless we have a microfilm or digital access version. And around 4.5% of our collection (or 20 million pages) is in an unfit state and with no microfilmed or digitised copy available. That's a lot of newspapers not to be making available at all.
Read the full article here.




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