In another initiative in making information reach the masses, Google has plans for digitising the newspaper archives of the major newspapers worldwide.
The company started scanning microfilm from some of the newspapers' historic archives. These archives will be initially available through Google News and gradually on the newspapers' own websites.
Google has already scanned millions of articles. This new move is an expansion of the two-year-old Google News service which allows one to search the archives of some major newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time.
Google Books is aready running its book-scanning project. The company plans to obtain permission from newspaper publishers before scanning their archives which may otherwise lead to copyrigths issues. However, the project might see some opposition from the newspapers, who might not be willing to allow google for digitise their archives because of issues involved in terms of revenue. Many publishers see their archives as a potential source of revenue.
This initiative is expected to digitise old generation of contributions from journalists, as well as widening the reader base of news archives.
National Endowment for the Humanities and Library of Congress is running a joint program – National Digital Newspaper Program for creating a digital archive of historically significant newspapers published in the United States bewteen 1836 and 1922. These archives will be available freely on the Internet.