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Apr 13, 2022

The British Newspaper Archive Celebrates Digitising Over 50 Million Historical Newspaper Pages, With More to Come

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Partnership between Findmypast and the British Library reaches new milestone with over 50 million newspaper pages digitised and now available online at The British Newspaper Archive and Findmypast  

·         Behind every news story is a family story, giving Findmypast subscribers the chance to add colour, context and depth to their family tree 

·         Project will continue to publish millions more after the extension of this exclusive partnership was announced last year  

Family history website Findmypast and their partner, the British Library, have this week hit a milestone of digitising 50 million pages on the British Newspaper Archive.  

Since 2011, Findmypast has worked with the British Library to collate, curate and digitise their enormous newspaper collection, which can be explored online at the British Newspaper Archive and Findmypast.  
 
The archive is the largest collection of British and Irish newspapers in the world and includes the Daily Mirror, Liverpool Echo, Belfast Telegraph and the Dundee Courier, as well as many other regional publications that are now out of print. 
 
Across the 18th to 20th century, many cities and towns published several newspapers simultaneously, often aimed at distinct audiences depending on social status, geographical location, or political affiliation. It’s this depth of content that allows people the chance to add richness and context to their family stories. This enormous collection highlights the news, culture, gossip and politics that shaped our ancestors’ lives.  Particularly evocative are the myriad of images that appear across the collection. Some may even catch a glimpse of their family in the millions of pages.

Families who came or left the UK in recent decades may not feature in other records available on Findmypast like the 1921 Census. Therefore, newspaper articles can be even more pertinent when piecing together a family’s history. Aside from established British and Irish titles, readers can explore stories from Jamaica to Jaipur, with international titles such as The Royal Gazette of Jamaica and The Barbados Agricultural Reporter. 

As part of a commitment to digitising diverse and culturally important titles, over one million pages are completely free to view without a subscription, both on the British Newspaper Archive and Findmypast. The digitisation of titles like The Keys provide an incredible view of 1930s Black British history, and the likes of the 19th century newspaper The Chartist shines a light on the rights of the working class. 
 
Findmypast and the British Library have also committed to digitising a further 19 million pages over the coming years, all available to explore on the British Newspaper Archive, or with a Findmypast Pro subscription. 
 
Mary McKee, Head of Content Operations at Findmypast, said: “We are proud to have reached this incredible milestone of digitising 50 million newspaper pages. Newspapers provide us with history as it happened.  You can explore history through the words of the everyday people who lived it, such as a description of the excitement of the first FA Cup final or the harrowing accounts of prison camps during the Second World War.  It is through our unique partnership with the British Library that we can bring to life the stories of both local legends and international movements for everyone to explore online around the world.” 

Luke McKernan, Lead Curator of News and Moving Image Collections at the British Library, said: “Our partnership with Findmypast has made the British Library’s extraordinarily rich collection of historical newspapers more accessible for everyone. We are excited to see 50 million newspaper pages now digitised and over one million pages from our collection available for free, without a subscription. We look forward to enabling ever wider audiences in the UK and around the world to access this important and fascinating resource.” 

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