Saturday, March 27, 2010

Google News Archive

This afternoon the South Carolina Press Associationcelebrated the best of South Carolina journalism with their awards ceremony at the Columbia Hilton. The SCPA also added a distinguised name to their Hall of Fame, Henry Timrod. The Columbia Public Library association also honored Timrod in 1905 by changing the name of the library to the Timrod Library. Even today a portrait of Timrod hangs outside of the Local History Room. Because of RCPL's connection to Timrod I was invited to accept the award for the library in Timrod's honor.

It was a wonderful honor to accept the award for the library. But it also turned out to be an interesting opportunity to be reminded about the Google News Archive. I sat next to the editor of the Sumter Item who told me that Google was digitizing all the issues of the Item. WHAT!!!

Fortunately I found it to be too cold and windy to rake when I got home (did that sound like a good excuse?) and I grabbed the ibook and went to work on Google News Archive (what else are weekends for...). Indeed, the Item is in there from approximately, 1960-1987. The Herald Journal (Rock Hill area) is also there from 1905-2008. I saw a few issues of the Charleston Post and Courier in 1947. There are also newspapers from other states. I found several from Florida and the Times News from Hendersonville, NC.

There isn't a listing of available newspapers and dates available so it is difficult to figure out what exactly is there. The site does not allow printing or downloads but you can share a link to articles. However, it should be a great resource for locating information for those years where we don't have any indexing. I am going to use News Archive to locate articles I haven't been able to find in The State. If I can locate them in another newspaper I can go back to The State with an exact date and hopefully dig up some good research material.

BTW, if you use igoogle there is an app for Newspaper Archive...sweet.

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