As part of its initial work in digitising its huge collection of historic newspapers, the British Library received two tranches of funding from JISC to digitise 3m pages from its Colindale repository.
As part of a three-way project involving the BL, JISC and the publishers Gale-Cengage, these newspapers have been made available in two different ways. One interface is the newspapers.bl.uk interface, open to the general public, who can pay for access to the newspapers. The other interface allows for direct access via your university, public library or other institution
Since the JISC-funded projects ended, all universities and colleges in the UK have been able to sign up for free access and search the newspapers via this second interface.
More recently, the British Library has signed a contract with the firm brightsolid that commits the latter to digitising around 40m pages of the BL’s newspaper collection, and distributing them via different channels
Today marks the launch, by the British Library and brightsolid, of The British Newspaper Archive. At the moment, this includes some of the JISC funded content plus other newspapers digitised by brightsolid.
With time it will grow to include all the JISC content but also millions of pages digitised by brightsolid and also acquired from other newspapers that have microfilms of their contents
Access to the new site is currently via subscription (e.g., £79.95 per year) or micropayment
JISC will be in negotiation with the British Library about gaining access to the new content.
For all UK universities and colleges free access to the 3m pages funded under the JISC project remains via the Gale Cengage interface.