Great Leap Backwards: National Library puts newspaper archives online

January 15th, 2010

Thanks to the National Library, the internet now gives you access to Singapore newspapers dating back to the early 19th century. The library’s NewspaperSG service will make it dramatically easier to do historical research.

It’s not just historians who will benefit. Journalists writing about the present will now find it much simpler to provide readers with historical context. Pressed for time, most reporters tend to confine their background research to stories that can be accessed on their computers. Databases such as Factiva and Lexis-Nexis go back only a few decades.

Now, through NewspaperSG, users now have access to more than 548,000 pages of searchable text of the Digitised Straits Times (1845-1982) and microfilms of around 200 Singapore and Malaya newspapers stored at the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library.

“Users who access the collection through the multimedia stations at our islandwide network of libraries will be able to search, view and print from The Straits Times digitised collection. Offsite users will also be able to access the website and view the articles but limited to the first 50 words of each full-text article,” the library says.

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