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Kimberly Powell

Google News Archive - Gone for Good?

By August 18, 2011

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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.

Google News - Archive Search

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!

August 18, 2011 at 10:12 pm
(1) Trub Wortwurst says:

I know, it’s terrible! You now have to go through the back door to get a functional search now.

In case you haven’t stumbled across this newspaper archive: http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html, it is primarily a New York newspapers but they include plenty of national articles which I couldn’t find elsewhere. I lucked across it last week and found a lot of good stuff that isn’t available on Google NA even though most of their papers are rather pale looking! Plus it’s free.

I don’t know what part of the country you are from but there are many local papers that don’t show up in Google searches unless you use keywords + pdf with your search results. Even then it’s sketchy on the returns. I’ve managed to find a handful of suburban Detroit paper archives which are great local resources that don’t appear in many search engines:

Grosse Pointe News/Review: http://digitize.gp.lib.mi.us/digitize/newspapers

Redford Observer: http://www.redfordarchives.org/

Canton Observer: http://archive.cantonpl.org/co/

Farmington Observer: http://www.farmlib.org/localhist (the search engine seems to only pull up the oldest papers).

Hopefully they all stay free as well.

August 19, 2011 at 10:25 am
(2) MaMed says:

In regard to “Google News Archive – Gone for Good”?
By Kimberly Powell

Yes, I agree with Kimberly. I did the same thing last night. Please don’t ruin a good thing!

August 19, 2011 at 11:10 am
(3) D.K. Allwell says:

First Google got rid of Uncle Sam and now this? , Google is kicking us in the shins. I thought the company learned something in June when they pulled the Uncle Sam search engine with no notice. Now this? Of course this isn’t evil, but it is bad form.

August 19, 2011 at 11:23 am
(4) Kay says:

What makes it all the more frustrating is that it seems you have to create a Google account in order to voice a concern or complaint and I just won’t do it. Google makes billions-how can this tool be a hardship for them? It’s not a money-maker and I believe that’s why it’s going away. I’m changing my default search engine I’m so disgusted with this company.

August 19, 2011 at 11:41 am
(5) Elizabeth O'Neal says:

In light of everything else that’s happened this week, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Google News Archive is gone for good. :-(

August 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm
(6) Jeff in CA says:

As a news researcher I have depended upon Google Timeline extensively. I have found it to be extremely useful and easy to navigate. I have uncovered many, many historical facts with it. I am at a loss to understand why it is being shut down. I will miss it very much, and I don’t know what I will do now to replace it. I am not happy.

August 20, 2011 at 12:00 am
(7) Paul Luchter says:

I found the Google News Archive Advanced search page to be the best newspaper archive interface. The newspapers that were free were so valuable, though very hard to know what they had. I wrote them and was told there wasn’t an index of what they had available. And it worked like a charm. newspaperarchive.com is unbelievably quirky, for instance. Proquest works well, but is only available at large city libraries, except the Times.

I know companies like News Bank and maybe even ProQuest might suffer a bit financially now….how in the world can one search this way. Too many variables, no way to hone down. To search by dates, to search by individual newspaper name.


August 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm
(8) Shane_H says:
August 20, 2011 at 11:14 pm
(9) Patricia H says:

For those of us doing historical research on the twentieth century the death of the old Google News Archive search is a giant leap backwards. I average 20-30 searches a day and now find that they not only take 3 to 4 times longer but they don’t display the same number of hits and not as conveniently displayed, either. Try redoing a search you did last week and see what I mean. Why can’t they just let us search as we had for the last couple of years.

August 21, 2011 at 12:02 pm
(10) Paul Luchter says:

I find this is annoying. There is no way to search through a newspaper. How many times must Google make things worse. I tried putting the newspaper title into the search terms, but that doesn’t help, they didn’t index the names at the top of the page, perhaps. Who knows, the search engine always was unbelievably quirky.

To top it off when I’d asked about a page that might show all the papers so far digitalized I was told there wasn’t one. Now I see there is, but too late for much use.

To get 100 results a page in the archive now one must start in normal search at 100 pages, go to news, then the archive selection. It doesn’t find what it found last week, even when you do that. This dumb way of getting 100 a page has been this way in the regular Advanced News search for around two years now. Same is true if you want it by date. It reverts back unless you start elsewhere. Lame-o! And even teh regular Advanced search that forces one to the simpleton approach by default. One must go to two pages, click three times, to get normal functioning where you get to decide what results you want, and get more than 10 a page. And this occurs over and over. They force the dumbing down defaults back on one everytime you re enter a browser.

Maybe libraries that now have no good access to their digitalized microfilm files, will threaten to sue. These bottom-liners know nothing else. I no longer can even get to my old youtube playlists since they forced me to re register there.

Google should go into oil, they want guaranteed accelerating profits. Sell the archives to Bing.

August 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm
(11) prnoth says:

This is lunacy on Google’s part … dedicated to the free flow of information? What a crock. Probably preparatory to slapping a fee on the ability to access the old version of the service to help pay for the acquisition of Motorola. The original search engine was actually highly useful. This is about as helpful to anyone doing any kind of research as teats on a boar. Worse, the information being tried to be accessed only exists on Google. And it does still exist. They just won’t let their consumers have it. Who the heck do they think built their empire anyway? It sure as heck wasn’t software engineers this dumb about what their products are actually used for.

August 21, 2011 at 7:28 pm
(12) Pat says:

I am dismayed. To me, Google has always stood for ethical stewardship of information.

I feel that the world owes them a debt because the Company and its founders made so much information accessible.

To hear that they are deviating from that commitment is very discouraging.

August 23, 2011 at 12:35 am
(13) Abby says:




August 23, 2011 at 12:39 am
(14) Abby says:

I am upset.

Please bring Google Timeline back.

August 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm
(15) Dennis says:

I have found little use for the archive, so I see this as no loss to my research.

My family has lived in the rural south since the 1600s, and Google seem uninterested in these papers.

August 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm
(16) Mark Pinkstone says:

Ha! I tried http://news.google.com/archivesearch, and was redirected to a Google page entirely in Chinese. Fat help that was. But archive search was good. I found an article I wrote when I was 12 years old (1955) in a major Melbourne (Australian) newspaper and other interesting articles.

August 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm
(17) saunter.mm@gmail.com says:

Please continue and put back and continue newspapers as ease please.
Google, please be friendly for and with researchers.
Amen, and please amd thank you.
M. Saunter

August 23, 2011 at 8:51 pm
(18) Robin says:

Everything that used to be free on my searching is either going away or they are making it where you have to pay or have a volunteer to look it up. What a crock.

August 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm
(19) SJM says:

I agree with everything in this article! The original format was fantastic and I used it every day. The new version is hopeless- even when I manually enter the back-date I’m not getting good results and without the timeline it’s a nightmare to search through.

Come on Google!

August 23, 2011 at 11:35 pm
(20) Rebecca says:

I an so disappointed in Google. I used the newspaper archive on a weekly basis. Google has been my favorite search engine but in protest I am going to stop using it. They get money every time we search and access websites through that search. Hitting them in the wallet is the only way to send a message that we don’t like what they’ve done. I am so sick and tired of all the pay sites for newspaper access.

August 24, 2011 at 10:52 pm
(21) Billie says:

Does anyone know of a resource like the NY and MI papers above for California papers? Preferably Southern California local papers? Thank you.

August 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm
(22) peterj46 says:

My Google screen does not offer archive. Is it a different version or am i doing something wrong?

August 29, 2011 at 10:01 am
(23) ~Kimberly says:

I’m noticing it coming and going, which is worrisome. I generally have issues late in the evening (after 11:00 p.m. EST / +5GMT). Try again at a different time and see if it works for you.

September 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm
(24) Mary says:

As a long time researcher (early ’70s) I’m aghast I never even knew about google’s genealogy research functions.

December 28, 2011 at 11:44 am
(25) Magokoro says:

Newspapers are one of the primary sources of history, cultural studies and a window into the daily past, from local to international. The loss of this archive as a ready resource is close to a crime. Every day we are losing our newspapers, leaving us with only second hand news, myths, bad books and gross generalization., Newspapers provide us with detail not found elsewhere and used by historians and scholars as first sources and clues to not only where the facts might lie, but also a feeling of what was important to the people of a given time and place and what the culture was like.

I was absolutely floored to find this resource gone. The preservation and access to our newspapers, the continuing digitization of them as the whole 18th, 19th and 20th centuries disappear in a bewildering NOW is a great disservice to democracy.

August 20, 2013 at 4:43 pm
(26) Heatblizzard says:

Hi. If the will of God allows it I hope the right person sees this comment.

I am not sure if it may be the cause of the newspaper archive being gone but around that time between 2008-2010 Google caught China hacking into their Email then a year or so later Google decided to cooperate with China in censoring search results.

To me it seems once you cooperate with the enemy you only get sucked in the darkness further which may be why Google is losing it’s moral.

Plus shortly after Google has been caught stealing people’s identities when taking street view pictures something to do with WiFi interference but I don’t really understand all the technical mumbo jumbo.

Also Google has sided with big brother government on spying you’re search results. If you are searching for *Pressure Cookers* you will be blacklisted and there are at least over 100s thousands of people on the *Terrorist* list based on keywords searched. Hell my comments are likely spied on and I am on the *hotlist* for violating the Espionage Act.

Good thing I don’t fly anywhere! :)

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