Spanning three centuries and including 52,000 local, regional, national and international titles, the British Library holds one of the world’s finest collections of newspapers. Each year the Newspaper Library at Colindale is used by 30,000 researchers in subjects ranging from family history and genealogy to sports statistics, politics and industrial history. This vast resource is held mainly in hard copy and microfilm, necessitating a trip to the north London site for people wishing to use the collection.
The first 2 years will see 4 million pages go online and the project is expected to take 10 years to complete. British Library readers will have free access to the database, but the rest of us will need to pay for access via www.findmypast.co.uk . Of course what everyone will be wondering is whether www.findmypast.co.uk will put the papers on a separate subscription and not include it in their normal subscription bundle. Will we see the same situation as happened with the 1911 census? I personally would like to see www.findmypast.co.uk do what www.ancestry.co.uk does and offer complete access to all their records for one all up reasonable price.