Saturday, March 07, 2009

Bringing history online, one newspaper at a time

For more than 200 years, matters of local and national significance have been conveyed in newsprint -- from revolutions and politics to fashion to local weather or high school football scores. Around the globe, we estimate that there are billions of news pages containing every story ever written. And it's our goal to help readers find all of them, from the smallest local weekly paper up to the largest national daily.

The problem is that most of these newspapers are not available online. We want to change that.

Last year Google launched an initiative to make more old newspapers accessible and searchable online by partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives. Let's say you want to learn more about the landing on the Moon. Try a search for [Americans walk on moon] on Google News Archive Search, and you'll be able to find and read an original article from a 1969 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Collecting Old and Historic Newspapers

Yes! There are actually people who collect old and historic newspapers! Why would people want old newspapers? Actually, the hobby is quite fascinating. There are at least two myths that surround the hobby that need to be cleared up first.

First, non-collectors tend to think of say a hundred-year-old newspaper as being VERY rare and a "museum piece". This is NOT the case at all. In reality, often even an early 1800's ORIGINAL historic newspaper can be purchased for under $10. Why such a low value for something so old? Do you recall the economics theory of "supply and demand"? It applies with newspaper collecting too. There are MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS of old and historic newspapers around for purchase -- and very few collectors. Don't get me wrong, however. There ARE some newspaper editions with values into the hundreds and a few in the thousands of dollars range in value. Read the Primer on Collecting to learn how values are established.

Second, non-collectors are under the impression that even a fifty year old newspaper would be brittle, very delicate, and highly yellowed. Actually, newspapers printed prior to the Custer massacre were printed on a special high grade paper called "rag linen". This paper was made from cloth and contained NO acid like "modern" newspapers. Since there is no acid in rag linen, they do not become brittle or delicate. Often, newspapers printed prior to 1876 seem almost like they came off the printing press yesterday.This is just one of the many History Buff collections you will find on this site. Here is the complete list with links to more "History Buff" history.

About HistoryBuff
Newspaper Collecting
Online Newspaper Archives
Newsletter Archives
Historic Panoramas
Reference Libraries
Primary Source Material
State Facts
Interactive Quizzes

Today's Front Pages Accross the Nation

Today's Front Pages
The Newseum displays daily newspaper front pages in their original, unedited form. Some front pages may contain material that is objectionable to some visitors. Viewer discretion is advised. There is an archive of events of historical importance but no ability to search for a specific date. You will need to save the pages you want to keep for your family history on the historic day of the event. We will review other searchable Newspaper website next.