In the news: Guardian launches digital archive

More than 150 years of  Guardian and Observer back copies have been made available online  with the launch of the paper’s digital archive

The archive allows users to search for free the full text of the newspaper from 1821 to 1975 and the Observer from 1900 to 1975 (a second phase early next year will see the addition of the Observer from 1791 to 1899 and both papers from 1976 to 2003). There is a fee for viewing articles in full and downloading.

The Guardian marks the occasion with a special supplement which details the process of bringing the newspapers from Stockwell Deep Level Shelter to screen and explains its choice of the company Olive Software in Tel Aviv to do the digitisation:  “Olive Software’s secret ingredient is its system of ‘componentisation’ – a set of mathematical algorithms that allow its computers to learn how to make sense of the cacophony and thus, in effect, to learn how to read a newspaper”.

It also invites novelist AS Byatt, director Richard Eyre and journalist Katharine Whitehorn to delve into the archive and share their impressions. They approve. 

Until November 30, the paper is offering 24 hour free introductory access to the archive.

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