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To counter the bad publicity, Google has begun a charm campaign to show that it is a friend of European culture. The company announced this week their first new digitization partnership in months. It was a museum in Mons, Belgium (the Mundaneum) and the project was to digitize their historic archival system.

This particular museum is interesting because way back in 1895 it designed a brilliant archival system to that is essentially what we would now call a search engine. The Mundaneum partnership is particularly important to Google because it allows Google to highlight the role various European institutions have played in the development of networks that eventually led to the internet.

Another potential thrust is the Google newspaper archive, which contains some European newspapers. Google is attempting to show that it is a good corporate citizen by making these newspapers more easily accessible to the public. Previous to this week, it was hard to find the main search page for the historic newspaper archive. Google has now made it easier to find and search their historic newspaper archive.

The majority of digitized newspapers in the Google newspaper archive are from the United States and Canada, with a good mixture of newspapers from Europe and other countries. Next to the US National Archives' Chronicling American newspaper collection and the Australian Trove newspaper collection, the Google newspaper archive is one of the largest free historic newspaper sources on the internet. It is definitely the best source for free historic Canadian newspapers.

The Newfoundlander newspaper 1830
The Newfoundlander newspaper Jan 1830. The Google Newspaper Archive underwent its largest expansion several years ago when it bought a Canadian company that specialized in digitizing historic newspapers. Canadian newspapers are well represented in the collection.

We have already placed a direct link to the searchable Google Newspaper Archive on our very popular (and free) Genealogy Toolbar, which you can easily download. If you already have the Genealogy Toolbar installed, the link will auto-magically appear (under the ‘Resources’ tab). This provides quick and convenient access to one of the best free genealogy resources on the internet.

Alternatively, you can bookmark the following link. Happy hunting!

Posted March 2012

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