Next Saturday (November 3) Guardian News and Media will launch two digital archives — one for The Guardian from 1821-1975, and one for The Observer from 1900-1975. (These are both UK papers.) While this is an extensive launch, it’s not complete — the rest of the archive will launch in early 2008 and will include the Guardian from 1821-2003 and the Observer from 1791-2003.
You can learn more about the upcoming archives at guardian.co.uk/archive . The archive will be fully-searchable and viewable in full-page and individual-article levels. What I find interesting is that access to the content does not seem to be available on a per-article basis; instead, timed passes are available. A 24-hour pass is £7.95 while a one-month pass is £49.95. (There’s a sale on passes until the end of November; passes cost 50% of the prices I’ve listed here.)
The announcement of the new archive mentioned that there would be a free 24-hour access period, but the archive page doesn’t mention when that will be — I’ll keep my eyes out. In the meantime, if you want a sample of what the archive will look like but don’t want to spend the scratch, you can check out a sample issue.