FOUR MILLION PAGES from old newspapers have been put online by the British Library.
The British Newspaper Archive, as the web site is called, pulls together pages from over two hundred old newspapers from the UK and Ireland, including the Belfast Newsletter, Birmingham Gazette, Cork Examiner, Western Mail and Manchester Evening News.
You can search pages by newspaper or date, and read accounts of the day about events of the day at your leisure, without the aid of a time machine or rubbing shoulders with people in libraries.
Speaking of which, Ed King, head of newspapers at the British Library, was pretty excited about the move. "The launch of the British Newspaper Archive website opens up the British Library's newspaper collection as never before," he said.
"Rather than having to view the items on-site at the Library, turning each page, people across the UK and around the world will be able to explore for themselves the gold-mine of stories and information contained in these pages - and the ability to search across millions of articles will yield results for each user, that might previously have been the work of weeks or months, in a matter of seconds and the click of a mouse."
We tried searching for incidents of mouse activity in the indices and found some charming sounding results - the report of a robin attacking a mouse, and the tale of a mouse loose in the House of Commons.
However, we have not subscribed to the web site at £6.95 for a two day package, around £30 for a month and just under £80 for the year, so were unable to read the newspaper articles. µ
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