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Google and Newspaper Archives

On a tangent: Google is cancelling its newspaper digitization project:

  • Google abandons master-plan to archive the world’s newspapers, by Carly Carioli, The Boston Phoenix (May 19 2011).

    Google told partners in its News Archive project that it would cease accepting, scanning, and indexing microfilm and other archival material from newspapers, and was instead focusing its energies on “newer projects that help the industry, such as Google One Pass, a platform that enables publishers to sell content and subscriptions directly from their own sites.”

    …In an email, Google said it would continue to support the existing archives it has scanned and indexed. It added, “We do not, however, plan to introduce any further features or functionality to the digitized news product.”

The papers that were scanned and indexed (not all scanned papers were indexed) are, apparently, still available through http://news.google.com/archivesearch (See, the about page for more inforamtion.) The Boston Phoenix article speculates on this:

It remains to be seen whether Google will complete the process of indexing the newspapers it has scanned. We’d guess not.

But wait, there’s more:

…The deal Google struck with partner newspapers stipulated that, somewhere down the line, a paper could purchase Google’s digital scans of its content for a fee. That fee is now being waived, and Google is not only giving publishers free access to the scanned files, but also the rights to publish them with other partners. In essence, Google just scanned a huge chunk of the newspaper industry’s valuable long-tail content, and then handed it to the publishers…. Are any of us is in a position to exploit those resources without Google’s help?

I wonder if any libraries or library consortium is willing to strike a deal with the publishers and put those scans online?

BTW, this is evidently completely separate from the Google purchase of PaperOfRecord, which, after going offline after the Google purchase, is now, apparently, back online:

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