GENMSC-L ArchivesArchiver > GENMSC > 1997-04 > 0860087738
From: Phil Bagnall <>
Subject: NEWSPAPERS online?
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 1997 17:15:38 GMT
Cynthia (see below) is absolutely right: electronic typesetting is a
fairly recent development in newspapers and no one has yet had the
time or funds to retype what amounts to millions of articles. However,
a couple of suggestions that may help anyone researching news
1) Many newspapers have their own editorial libraries (how do you
think they managed to dig up all the old sleeze?) and the librarians
are usually quite helpful. If you suspect that someone from your
family's past may have been mentioned in the press then some newspaper
librarians will help you find the story. Address your query to the
2) More and more public libraries are establishing databases covering
their local press (some of which are still using hot metal or which
have not yet developed an electronic library). My local, for example,
has a database going back to 1974 even though the newspaper it covers
only changed to electronic publishing about 10 years ago. So visit
your local or regional library and see what they have to offer. If the
librarian cannot help you then they may well be able to point you to
Hope that helps.
"Cynthia M. Van Ness" <> wrote:
>On Thu, 27 Mar 1997, William E. Cole wrote:
>> Does anyone know of a link to any sites that have indexes or databases for
>> I want to search for old articles about my relatives but haven't found any
place that can do this...
>I haven't done this search myself, but I'm not surprised that you came up
>with nothing. While I could be proven wrong, I have some ideas about why
>we will not see "old newspapers" online anytime soon.
>The key factor here is money. Consider that computerized typesetting is
>perhaps 20 years old in the newspaper business. Before that, *nothing*
>is digitized. We cannot assume that digital records of these 1970s-1990s
>newspapers still exist, or that they are in a form that is compatible or
>usable with modern computers. And if they are, why should a newspaper
>invest in the labor and equipment to give away full-text pre-1997 newspapers
>for free? Here in Buffalo, the Buffalo News *sells* a full-text CD-ROM
>of its newspaper from 1992 to the present.
>The same can be said for indexes. Someone (like us librarians) has to
>take the time to index, and someone has to pay our salaries. Again, the
>digital world is very young--who do you propose should convert old card
>indexes (my guess is that my library's old newspaper index has 150,000
>cards) and who shall pay for the labor and equipment? And after making
>such a massive investment, why should they mount it for free on the Net?
>Your best bet is still to write to the largest public library in the
>county where your ancestors lived and request a few modest look-ups.
>Cynthia Van Ness, M.L.S. | Co-moderator, Buffalo NY USA genealogy page:
> | http://freenet.buffalo.edu/~roots
>If information was power, librarians would rule the world. (C. Stoll)