More good news in the genie-world today, leading family history website Findmypast and the British Library have just announced an extension of their long term partnership; the British Newspaper Archive.
This was originally launched in 2011,and was set as a 10 year project to digitise the UK newspapers. This incredible project has produced the most significant collection of UK newspapers ever seen, and lucky for us, much of it has been being digitised and online for anyone, anywhere to access.
By October 2020 the project had reached 40 million pages, and a few months on, it currently sits at over 42 million pages. 42 M-I-L-L-I-O-N!! Not only does that make The British Newspaper Archive website the largest online collection of British and Irish newspapers in the world, it also makes it a must-use resource for researchers.
Spanning four centuries and including 34,000 local, regional, national and international titles, the British Library holds one of the finest collections of newspapers on earth. Prior to digitisation, this vast cultural treasure was held entirely in hard copy and microfilm, necessitating travel and hours of painstaking manual research for anyone wishing to use the collection.
Now anyone from amateur researchers to academics can discover the billions of stories that lie within in just a few simple clicks, transforming their understanding of past events both great and small while adding color, context and depth to their research.
BUT WAIT … THERE’S MORE COMING
The big news to hit the genie-news grapevine, is that the British Library and Findmypast have agreed to an expension, which “will result in the online publication of a further 14 million pages over the next three years, including the addition of 1 million new free-to-access pages each year”.
With technology and processes becoming more efficient over time, Findmypast’s digitisation suite at the British Library’s Boston Spa site in West Yorkshire is now digitising the Library’s collection at an unprecedented rate. Since 2019 digitisation has increased dramatically, with over 5 million pages made available to search online in the past 12 months alone. Nearly every page is packed with new opportunities for discovery, containing an average of 80 names each.
The extension of Findmypast’s partnership with the British Library as preferred digitisation partner for mass newspaper digitisation is further evidence of their proven track record of digitising archive materials, making them available to new audiences and preserving them for future generations. Although much of the content on the site is out of copyright, Findmypast have worked with rights holders to make a wide range of more recent content available too.
There’s no doubt that this partnership has already transformed access to these much needed records, and they are a “much loved resource for historians, researchers, genealogists, students and many others that brings past events and people to life with great immediacy and in rich detail”.
Tamsin Todd, CEO of Findmypast, said: “We are thrilled to extend Findmypast’s partnership with the British Library to continue developing the British Newspaper Archive which has been such a game changer for researchers everywhere. Newspapers have been the powerhouse of the UK’s free press, and I am proud of the work we are doing to use cutting edge digitsation technologies to ensure this national treasure is preserved and accessible for future generations.”
Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, said: “Over the past decade, the British Newspaper Archive has transformed access to the extraordinarily rich collection of historic newspapers in our care. As well as protecting the fragile originals, digitisation has transformed the ways in which researchers can search newspaper content and make connections and discoveries that might never have been possible using print or microfilm. We are delighted to renew our strategic relationship with Findmypast, which has done so much to help expand the online audience for newspapers, whether they are accessing them for research inspiration or enjoyment.”
EXPLORE MORE, FOR LESS – SAVE 30%
In celebration of their partnership and everything the British Newspaper Archive has achieved so far, Findmypast are offering history enthusiasts the chance to explore this archive of everything for less with a discount of 30% on all subscription options.
This limited time offer is available to all new and returning British Newspaper Archive subscribers from Monday, 24 May 2021, until midnight on Monday, 31 May 2021 (UK time). Simply visit britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/account/subscribe and enter the code LIBRARY30 to claim your discount and start searching! The offer is open to new and resubscribers. Please note: while the newspapers are available to view through Findmyapst, the discount offer is only available through British Newspaper Archive directly.
You can read more about the partnership and announcemet here:
– British Newspaper Archive blog – The British Newspaper Archive and the British Library Extend Their Partnership
– Findmypast blog – British Library and Findmypast announce renewal of long-term partnership