MyHeritage launches OldNews historical newspaper platform

Genealogy website MyHeritage launched OldNews this week. The subscription-based service offers subscribers access to "hundreds of millions of historical newspaper pages from around the world," according to the official announcement on the MyHeritage blog.

The main focus of the archive is newspapers from the 1800s and 1900s. The built-in search is the heart of the site. You may enter a name, event, or keyword, and limit results to a publication year or publication place.

The site returns items based on the input. Searching is free and possible even without an account. The returned articles may only be accessed with an account though.

The database supports 11 languages at the time of writing and several countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, and Canada. Subscribers may view, print, and download articles.

OldNews uses optical character recognition and scans of newspaper. Both are returned by the site when you view articles. Search terms are always highlighted in the articles for improved accessibility.

A search for Titanic returned more than 360,000 results at the time of writing. Elvis Presley was found almost 250,000 times, and Abraham Lincoln a whopping 1.4 million times.

Access is available for $99 per year and a 7-day free trial is available for new users. Existing MyHeritage subscribers may use their account to sign-in to OldNews as well.

OldNews is not the first service of its kind. There is Newspapers by Ancestry, which claims that it is the largest archive of its kind. It is available for $19.90 per month or $74.90 for six months.

Free options may also be available. There is Chronicling America by the Library of Congress, Carnegie Mellon University's Guide to Online History Free Newspapers, and others.

As far as genealogy websites are concerned; the link to newspaper archives is a natural one. It provides subscribers with another source to hunt down relatives from the past.

MyHeritage says that it will add millions of newspaper pages to the archive each month.

Image Credit: MyHeritage

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