I so love online newspapers.

Repositories such as GenealogyBank, NewspaperArchive, Colorado Historic Newspapers, Google News Archives, and even ProQuest (when I can get it) have provided me with so many interesting and titillating tidbits about the lives of ancestors past that I could never have found without their help.

But one of those repositories is about to bite the dust. As John Reid at Anglo-Celtic Connections pointed out this morning, Google is ending their newspaper digitization project.


Apparently what has already been posted will remain, but you can expect nothing new from Google in this department, as they are no longer accepting new microfilm or digital files for processing.

According to Mashable, “Although Google will no longer process any more papers, publishers can continue to add material to their individual archives via sitemaps. They are also welcome to pursue alternative partnerships to get the content Google has scanned for them online elsewhere.”

The Boston Phoenix speculates that “Google may have ended the project because it simply wasn’t worth the effort. ‘The process may have turned out to be harder than Google anticipated. Or it may have turned out that the resulting pages drew far fewer eyeballs than anyone expected.'”

I can’t help but wonder how many eyeballs are enough.

So much for “bringing history online, one newspaper at a time.”

*   *   *

On a slightly different note, if you like Google Books, you may wish to follow the status of the Google Book Settlement copyright class action lawsuit. It would be tragic if Google Books went away.

Copyright © by Elizabeth O’Neal
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