Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Old Newspapers from the Distant Past Brought to You by Google Search

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I have good news for you today. This one is particularly interesting since its about contents from newspapers predating the digital past. 

Now it would be possible for you to read old newspapers online completely as they had then appeared in print many years ago, when you and I were perhaps not born as of yet.

This is yet another gift from Google who have in joint collaboration with an initial hundred newspaper publishers around the world have begun the process of adding yet more contents from the past that is to be made available online shortly. 

Google has taken the initiative to make available old newspapers from  archives of respective newspaper publishers for the convenience of internet surfers with appetite to read and study the past as they unfolded each day on their computer screen. 

The methods and technology adopted for scanning is the same as those undertaken for Google Books. 

I have always been interested in articles that had once appeared in old newspapers and magazines. Such articles lets you get a glimpse of  what all kinds of events and happenings that used to take place in those days, which created news headlines then.

Some of them were burning issues  that gave shape to the world we see presently, such as when man set foot on the moon for the first time in the history of mankind or when the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, raising the iron curtain that ended the Cold War, so on and so forth. 

Moreover advertisements and articles on fashion, food, lifestyle all of these  gives you an idea of the aspirations of the people living then and what all products and gadgets were available that was the envy of those who desired to have them and that gave pride, joy and entertainment to the people who posessed them in those bygone era. 

Reading old newspaper clippings suddenly transforms you to a different place and era, much like old movies or documentary films that lets us know what it was all like, such as when the rich and mighty travelled by air on a Zepplin plane, much different from our present day wide bodied Jet air liners like the Airbus 380. 

The pages of all these newspapers that appeared in print many decades before, have been carefully scanned in completion and digitalized, which are now available on websites for your perusal.

So now it will be possible to browse a complete newspaper as it then appeared in print such as the first edition that came out  in 1764 by one of North America's oldest newspaper such as the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph. 

"This effort will enable us to help you find an even greater range of material from newspapers large and small," wrote Google product manager Punit Soni on the company blog. 

"This effort is just the beginning. As we work with more and more publishers, we'll move closer towards our goal of making those billions of pages of newsprint from around the world searchable, discoverable and accessible online."

For making it convenient for those delving deep into history that lay buried in the dusty shelves of Newspaper Offices the world over, Google has come up with a specially designed algorithm that can easily pick up any article that you are looking for. 

As soon as a surfer wishes to know about a particular piece of information say the events that followed the dropping of the first Atom Bomb over Japan in Hiroshima or that of Mahatma Gandhi's brutal  assassination  by a fanatic, the Google Search would take the surfer to the particular article that appeared in any newspaper of ones choice. 

Articles relating to the same subject or event that appeared in other newspapers would be mentioned in the right hand side of the web page containing the particular article for which the surfer is looking for. 

Google would as usual earn revenues that it wishes to share with the newspapers offering the contents in the form of Adsense. 


The announcement about this special feature added to the Google Search  that looks out for old newspaper articles, was made by Marissa Mayer who is the vice president for search related products for Google. 

She unveiled and demonstatred this particular Google feature at the TechCrunch50 conference in San Francisco. 

The TechCrunch50 is a forum for entrepreneurs with excellent innovative ideas that are by itself revolutionary. This gives them an opportunity to showcase their project to participating Venture Capitalist as well as the Technology Industry that woudld determine the future course of technological progress. 

I am sure you too would find this latest feature from Google useful when you wish to know what all happened in the past. 

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