News Archive – Another Google service

News from the Google blog this week. Google has launched its newspaper archive, drawing on all sorts of sources. Most of them are free, but some are subject to a subscription fee. 

Newspapers have been conveying significant news for hundreds of years. The problem is that most of these newspapers are not available online. This initiative, Google News Archives, is about making more old newspaper articles/information accessible and searchable online. Google aims to do this by partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives.


I tried looking up Cyclone Tracy. As with Google searches, you can use the advanced mode to locate information. There were many results but I particularly wanted to see the papers from the 1974.

You can narrow down the results by specifying dates, in the field on the left-hand side of the screen. I choose “before 1998” and then I found many articles to choose from. A number of the Australian papers were by subscription but there were others as well. It was amazing to see how many global papers carried information about Tracy and how it was reported in them.

From the St. Petersburg Times

From the St. Petersburg Times

Although the above article was from Dec 24th, 1990 I found it interesting. The article that reported on Australian summer conditions and compared them to 1974. It was in the St. Petersburg times. From this you can see how the article can be viewed. There seems to be more US news covered than other nationality but I would suppose it will continue to grow as various organisations come on board as they understand the benefits to all.

I see a number of ways this service could be used in my school, in the media, English and SOSE areas to name three. The interesting thing for me is that you can see the news as it was printed, with the headlines, accompanying photos, and the position on the page, as well as what else was around it. The use of language, comparisons between news reporting in different eras and countries, the impact of an event, as evidenced by the reporting in the paper at that time, pure historical data including the photographs can all be used by teachers and students in their research. I always find looking at advertising interesting as well. Advertising is, for me, a great indicator of the society of the times.

Another fascinating Google offering.

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