The British library has announced it has launched a new online archive which features back issues of more than 200 newspapers from the UK and Ireland.

The British Library has been busy digitising content for the last year and predicts that the archive will take 10 years to complete.

The website, www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk, is a fascinating insight into the history of journalism and contains myriad articles that go all the way back to the 1700s.

The idea of the website was to digitise actual newspapers that can be found at the British Library, giving more people than ever before access to these historical documents.

If that sounds familiar, it's because Google tried to do a similar thing with its Google News Archive - but this was closed in July of this year.

Extraordinary archive

Speaking about the new site, Ed King from the British Library, said: "People will find this archive extraordinary on both a personal and historical level. For the first time people can search for their ancestors through the pages of our newspapers wherever they are in the world at any time.

"But what's really striking is how these pages take us straight back to scenes of murders, social deprivation and church meetings from hundreds of year ago, which we no longer think about as we haven't been able to easily access articles about them."

The archive consists of over 40 million newspaper pages and due to the amount of content on offer it is subscription based.

Although you can search for any article, to actually view the content, the price is: £6.95 for 48-hour access; £29.95 for 30 days or £79.95 for a yearly sub.

Via the Telegraph