20 May 2011
Google to Stop Scanning Searchable Old Newspapers
Back in 31 Oct 2008, I added a post, Free Search View of Old Newspapers. This week in the Boston Phoenix blog there was a post: Google abandons master-plan to archive the world's newspapers. Google will continue to search existing scanned old newspapers, but will not be adding additional newspapers.
The post reports that Google will be shutting down its program for scanning, and applying OCR software to allow for text searches. The report suggests Google's reason for ending the program because it is more expense than planned for or there have been insufficient searches to warrant the expense.
I suggest both reasons are good, but old newspapers have data searching issues. The print can bleed through, the font-type and size often vary on the same page, and commercial advertisement are included in the searches. So searches often miss items or collect false positives. This is true of other old newspaper searches besides Google.
Over the past few years I have found family stories and events using the Google newspaper search.
Don't worry that Google will be deleting what has been scanned, just no more newspapers will be processed.