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Hidden treasures in newspaper archives

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
Your Guide to the Changing Media Landscape

Hidden treasures in newspaper archives

Basically, the archives have no value until someone reaches in to them, views the microfilms or gently turns the century-old pages in their hunt for source material. But what if newspaper archives were instantly accessible and searchable? What if anyone could tap into the riches of history and discover stories and events as seen by those who actually witnessed them?

Building digital archives seems like a no-brainer. Scan the old paper editions or microfilms, store them on a webserver, and boom! History for everyone. In reality, it's slightly more complex but you get the idea. The real question is: what's in it for the publishers? Their frequent readers get access to an abundance of historical content, but where is the business model?

Keepers of Cultural Heritage

Ingeniøren (The Engineer), a Danish technical industry newspaper, digitized their archives with more than a 100 years of technical journalism and history. The project was partly crowdfunded by readers, and Ingeniøren has no economic interest in the now public archive. That's not to say that the past is worthless.

Instant access to archived editions of newspapers allows the use of historical knowledge in new journalism, giving journalists previously unimaginable access to source material. Newspapers are high-credibility witnesses to the evolution of society and culture. By embracing that past, these media are able to create strong ties to both present and future readers.

In a recent study among European ePaper readers, more than 60 % claim that digital archives are an important feature. Readers consider the archive an added value to the ePaper product, giving media a new way of differentiating their ePaper from the print edition.

Turning a digital archive into a valuable ePaper feature takes more than scanning thousands of archive pages. Digitizing old newspapers, making them searchable and presenting them in a user-friendly manner makes all the difference.

VisioLink, at Stand C.353, will hold an insights session about this possibility on its stand at 11 a.m. Monday and Tuesday.


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2016-10-10 10:45

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