The launch of the archive is the first time people will be able to digitally access and search through millions of newspaper articles from the comfort of their homes. Up until now, people have had to travel to the British Library newspaper depository in Colindale, North London, to access the entire collection of 200 local and regional newspapers.
Highlights of the vast collection include gems such as vivid accounts of General Garibaldi’s UK visit to a “magnificent reception at Crystal Palace”, published in the Dundee Courier on April 18 1864, and the creation of the phonograph by Thomas Edison, in the North Wales Chronicle on December 1, 1877.
Ed King, head of the British Library’s newspaper collections, 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.