In the Fall (Autumn) of 2011, The British Newspaper Archive will digitize millions of pages of newspapers making them available online. The British Libraries newspaper collection is probably the best in the world and the collection will contain most of the runs of newspapers published in the UK since 1800. This could prove to be a virtual gold mine of information for genealogists and family history researchers.

You’ll be able to look up birth, marriage and death notices, engagements, anniversaries, etc. In the obituary sections there will be a wealth of information on the lives of notable individuals and ancestors. You’ll be able to look up national events with issues of local and regional import, giving insight into the times when your ancestors lived.

The information on the home page is as follows:

“Launching in Autumn 2011, the British Newspaper Archive will make millions of pages of historical newspapers available online for the first time – unlocking a treasure trove of material for historians, researchers, genealogists, students and anyone interested in when, where and how our ancestors lived and key periods of historical interest.

The project is a partnership between the British Library and brightsolid online publishing, and aims to digitise up to 40 million pages from the UK national newspaper collection over the next ten years.

Highlights will include:

  • Contemporary reporting of major events – vivid first-hand detail and reaction to key events including the Crimean War, the Irish famine, the Great Exhibition and the Boer War
  • Family notices – a wealth of detail from sources such as births, deaths and marriages, obituaries and related announcements
  • Local and regional press – supplementing national titles already available online, the Archive will feature a wide range of local and regional titles over many decades
  • Fully searchable online by date, title and keywords – transforming access to material previously only available in the British Library Reading Rooms as print or microfilm

More than 1 million pages of pre-1900 newspapers will be available at launch, building to 4 million digitised pages over the next 2 years. Register now to be the first to know when the newspapers are available online!”

The website is easy on the eyes and informs the visitor in a crisp and clear manner exactlly what is being offered. If you’d like to take a look, click on The British Newspaper Archive.


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