Google News Archive Server

Friday, April 13, 2007

I would like to respond to a comment a reader left in response to my article on Google News Archive Server published in Internet Genealogy Magazine May 2007. This reader stated that I had misled them as ALL the articles for their search were subscription based. This is simply NOT true.

While original copies of the articles are often subscription based, transcriptions are usually FREE. This particular reader was interested in a ship, "Xylon", and to prove my point here is what I found.

Here is a sample result:

The Evening Times (Newspaper) - August 27, 1906, Cumberland, MarylandSubscription - Evening Times - NewspaperArchive - Aug 27, 1906

Mr. Bell is a Forty-niner, AND was at The time of which he speaks on his way from Baltimore TO San Francisco on The ship Xylon. This vessel, With a large ...
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Once I click on the result:

As you will see above, yes there is a big ad to sign up for full access to the original, but in the lower left corner (I have highlighted this with the red box) is the transcription available for FREE.

I guess the reader failed to notice this when they reviewed the page.

I checked a few other entries and it was the same situation. The reader has been distracted by the ad and hasn't noticed the transcribed text is right on the screen.

If you understand the way Google works, it can't access pages hidden behind subscriptions (it doesn't have one) so whenever you see text in a search result listing it means that it has to be on the page somewhere. The fact that the listing had extracted some actual newspaper text meant that it was available on the page (as demonstrated above).

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