I was not a happy camper last night when I went to the main Google News Archive page, previously available at http://news.google.com/archivesearch, only to find it redirecting to the main Google page. Today Google News Archive is still redirecting, although it takes you to the Advanced News Search page. Does this mean Google News Archive is gone for good? I sure hope this is only a temporary change since I use the Google News Archive on a regular basis, especially for historical issues of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Press and other southwestern Pennsylvania newspapers.
A few months ago Google announced that it was discontinuing its newspaper digitization program, launched in 2008, but seemed to suggest that access to the previously digitized content would not be going away anytime soon.
Users can continue to search digitized newspapers at http://news.google.com/archivesearch, but we don't plan to introduce any further features or functionality to the Google News Archives and we are no longer accepting new microfilm or digital files for processing.
The content from the Google News historical archive is still available, but much harder to access without the Google News Archive search interface. The quickest way to access the content from the Google News Advanced Search page is to start a search and then select the "Archives" option that appears near the bottom of the left-hand column.
You can also still browse by date from the newspaper list - thank goodness. I really miss the timeline, the ability to search by source title, and other advanced search features of Google News Archive, and sure hope this is a temporary glitch and not the end of a wonderful research tool.
Update: 19 August 2011
Google has shared the following official statement regarding the demise of the Google News Archive search page:
We recently removed the Google News Archive search page and redirected it to the News advanced search page where you can search through News Archives along with the entire News index. News Archives -- comprised of both scanned and digital articles from more than a month to hundreds of years old -- continue to be fully searchable.
Searchable for how long? Google, please bring back this invaluable historical resource!