Newspapers from the “Land of Song” are now online for researchers free of charge. One of Britain’s most important libraries,The National Library of Wales (NLW), has a new website, launched in beta, featuring Welsh Newspapers Online.
You can currently search and access over 250,000 pages from 24 newspaper publications pre-1910. The collection will grow to over a million pages, as more publications are added during this year 2013.
Here’s a copy of the news release:
“1,000,000 pages of Welsh history to 1910 online, free of charge.
The National Library of Wales’ Welsh Newspapers Online resource will be launched by Huw Lewis AM, Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, at the Pierhead building, Cardiff on Wednesday 13 March.
Welsh Newspapers Online is a major website from the National Library of Wales that will allow anybody with an interest in the history and people of Wales to browse and search over 100 titles from its rich collection of pre-1910 newspapers – completely free of charge.
This mass digitisation project is the largest ever undertaken by the National Library and contributes to its far-reaching vision of Wales as the first nation to have digitised all its published print material and made it available free of charge on the web.
Andrew Green, Librarian of the National Library of Wales said:
‘The National Library of Wales’s ambitious use of digital technology will radically extend the availability of our magnificent record of everyday knowledge. Converting primary paper format into digital form, and making it freely available online, will transform the way in which people learn about and research Welsh history, culture and identity.’
Welsh Newspapers Online will allow the reader not only to browse digital copies of the original newspapers but also to search for words, names and dates across all 1 million pages.
Amongst the titles already available are: Merthyr Times and Dowlais Times and Aberdare Echo, South Wales Star, Y Gwladgarwr, Y Dydd and Prestatyn Weekly.
The resource will continue to grow as more titles are added during 2013, including: Western Mail, North Wales Chronicle, Y Cymro, and Cardiff Times.
Heritage Minister Huw Lewis said:
‘I am delighted the Welsh Government has been able to provide £2 million of support to this significant project that will be the largest body of searchable text relating to Wales and will contribute significantly towards the National Library’s vision to digitise the entire printed memory of Wales.’
The First Minister Carwyn Jones added:
‘This highly ambitious project is about joining our past with our future, preserving how our nation’s story was told in the printed press for generations to come. People worldwide will be able to search for words, phrases and dates and discover countless stories at a touch of a button that would otherwise only be available in physical archives.’
Welsh Newspapers Online has been part-funded by the Welsh Government’s Strategic Capital Investment Fund and European Regional Development Fund.
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