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 British Library online 
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Post British Library online
It went online today: Information here

Doesn't look like it's free, but here's hoping Cambs CC will kindly oblige..... ;)

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Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:30 am
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Post Re: British Library online
Yes, too bad it's not free.

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susan


Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:57 pm
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Post Re: British Library online
susan wrote:
Yes, too bad it's not free.

Reproduction fees charged by the British Library are also very high. Joan Druett, the New Zealand maritime historian, complained bitterly of the copyright and reproduction charges when she used BL images in her recent book about Tupaia, the high-cast Polynesian who left Tahiti with Captain James Cook on the homeward leg of Cook's first voyage to the Pacific.

Martin


Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:08 pm
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Post Re: British Library online
I had a quick look at the fee structure when Mil first posted the link. It seems it runs on a credit system, where just merely viewing an article costs you credits. :( (Correct me, if I'm wrong.)

I had a paid, time-based subscription to The Scotsman. I prefer that option, where you can look at and download as many articles as you wish during the period of time you've paid for.

I'd love to use the BL to look up Basil Hall and Falls of Clyde-related articles. However, I fear that I'll use up credits clicking on links to articles about the actual falls rather than the ship. I know there are previews of the articles, but I don't know how useful they will be.

Will have to investigate further.

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susan


Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:02 pm
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Post Re: British Library online
Mil Goose wrote:
It went online today: Information here

Doesn't look like it's free, but here's hoping Cambs CC will kindly oblige..... ;)


I have just linked again to that Daily Telegraph report: it is evoking some very hostile comments from readers about the cost of using the scheme, and queries as to whether the BL can actually claim copyright over ancient newspapers.

An alternative is the Gale Group Cengage Learning website. One of the databases available there is:

"The British Newspapers 1600-1900 is the most significant digital collection of British historic newspapers. New conservation and imaging techniques and a new cross-searchable platform adopted by the British Library offers unparalleled access and discoverability to this valuable historical and cultural archive. In addition one will find specially commissioned essays and contextual materials written by expert scholars intended to help non-specialist users with perspective and analysis."

Many of the periodicals accessible at this database have been made available to the Gale Group by the British Library. The printed pages are presented as images of the original (some images are so smudged as to be hard to read, others are crisp and clear). The database can be searched for key words, with searches restricted to certain parameters: eg a range of dates. There are other databases of publications in periodicals also accessible.

Downside is that none of it is free. I don't know what the subscription costs are. My university library fortunately has a free link for certified members. I have tried (for Mary's sake) to see if the Cambridge Public Library has a subscription, but my logon to that library is not working at present.

Martin


Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:49 pm
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Post Re: British Library online
susan wrote:
I'd love to use the BL to look up Basil Hall and Falls of Clyde-related articles. However, I fear that I'll use up credits clicking on links to articles about the actual falls rather than the ship. I know there are previews of the articles, but I don't know how useful they will be..


You probably already know that The London Gazette has a free-access website. One can register (also free) to get some additional benefits. There is a search facility, though it does not seem to be as effective as the ones offered by the Gale/Cengage Learning databases. Nevertheless, there is quite a lot of naval information in the London Gazette.

Martin


Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:47 pm
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Post Re: British Library online
Hi Martin,

Yes, I have the London Gazette site bookmarked. It is an excellent resource.

One thing I've noticed about the BL Newspaper site is that some of the preview snippets aren't very good (garbled words). I guess because it's OCR?

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susan


Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:05 am
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Post Re: British Newspaper Library online
I tweeted to them asking if there would be library licences. They replied that there would be academic licences issued in 2012. Whether this will be confined to university libraries or extended to public libraries is not clear at the moment.

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Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:35 pm
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Post Re: British Library online
I decided to try out the two-day subscription (500 credits). As with any new service, there are glitches. One I encountered was the "sorry not available at this time," when trying to do a search. This is due to server load I guess.

I find the brief OCR previews annoying, as they tend to be garbled. Some have no previews, only a "?", which isn't helpful. Have to guess at the content and/or trust to luck that you are getting the article you want.

Another annoying thing is that there are no keyword highlights once you click on "view." This is okay if you are looking at a short item. The item containing the keywords is highlighted on a small page graphic, so you can find it on the page. However, one page I accessed had the whole page highlighted! So basically I had to scroll around until I found the reference (at the bottom right part of the page...the very last part I looked at. :x )

While you can search by date range, I couldn't figure out how to sort the results chronologically. I have to investigate this further. It may be in the advanced search options.

The zoom feature works well and you are allowed to download a PDF file for your personal use.

I guess I've been spoiled by using the Library of Congress' site. It's free to use and they have keyword highlights!

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susan


Tue Dec 27, 2011 7:45 am
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