40 million pages to be online within 10 years by Bright Solid the selected partner for the British and thats just the tip of the iceberg, pardon the Titanic reference, theya re everywhere at the moment…but have you tried it and what did you think? How easy was it to use, how good was the information you found. How good or bad was the quality of the OCR results? Find out more on how it was done and what’s available in this mammoth IT project that should be a fantastic resource for historians but is it?

Here’s a Techworld article on Bright Solid’s project with the British Library latest Newspaper collection, have you seen the online resource. Worth comparing with the equivalent and contrastingly free resource in Australia known as the Trove.

is it better than the British Library ones free and one isnt..
Try it as a free and great resource for Australian Family and Local history research

We think the  British Library collection, needs some polish to perfect the user interface, its quite expensive for what you get, but in the attached article youc an get the background on how the IT was accomplished and continues to run for this project.

What do you think about the end product?, we would love to hear from you, so let us know what you think. You can use our Disqus commenting system, which integrates with your preferred means of connection straight forward commenting or connecting and following a thread using your Facebook Twitter account whichever suits you best.


The Telegraph article also provides a brief insight

What’s your feedback on the British Newspaper Archive( by Brightsolid and the British Library, 4 million pages thus far, 35 million to go over the next 9.x years…

How good will it get, 4 million pages and counting....

The BL resource needs to handle potentially a longer timescale and a larger collection than Trove handles, but the OCR quality is not great and it seems a little expensive for what you can do?  With a  collection thats ultimately only 10% of the full 750 million pages the BL holds in it’s collection and an estimated 10 years to just get 40 million pages online (4 million indexed thus far) is it good enough and worth your money…we are not quite convinced thus far.

BL is looking to innovate, the recent Old Maps Georeferencing has shown that and whilst Brightsolid and FMP(Find My past) are doing an overall good job can we not mix it up a bit in these hard pressed times with more crowdsourcing projects?

How do you and your history friends use IT to share the research load and time taken to meticulously transcribe records. Ideas and opportunities abound lets see how we can all use a sprinkle of the community capability to make more projects happen and increase the accessibly of so many original and primary sources. Crowdsourcing for history projects, isn’ t that exactly what we all do best, think about your Family History Group, Local history Group, Special interest  memberships and the art of the possible. Creativity here can be great and break down some of the silos that go on still in the Ivory Towers. I am not saying a word but JSTOR is a classic closed community…

So there you go back to the History Soapbox, ‘Open the Doors and Open the Data’ get involved and as a UK tax payer express your views on how data we pay for can be made open and more easily accessible and possibly with crowd sourcing saving some vital public sector funds and mobilising the skills that abound across the history community not just in the universities…Quality is always an issue but the BL Old Maps Project and a few other ideas are leading the way on this one…Why pay offshore perhaps when the work could be shared sing the same tools amongst those with a passion for the data…now there is a thought Twitter Facebook email and the Web…We can all  campaign for more open and accessible resources and let’s use our combined power and efforts to make it happen.

Take a look at the Open Data Initiatives, there are some great brains involved and the potential to combine the best of commerce, academia, government and oh yes us the taxpayers…sounds good to us…




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