You know, I don’t think I’ll ever read an announcement about a new digital newspaper archive and think, “Meh, there are enough digital newspaper archives already.” I JUST CAN’T SEE IT HAPPENING. So it’s great to read about the Atlanta Historic Newspapers Archive, available at http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/atlnewspapers. Though limited to one city, this site still manages to have more than 67,000 newspaper pages from 14 newspapers published in Atlanta between 1847 and 1922.
The front page has both two browse options (view by title/year or year/title) and a search box with a few extra pulldown options. I searched for the word Savannah in the year 1871, paused for a few minutes to find and install a DjVu plugin (you can’t view the papers without it) and looked at what I found. I got over 870 results. Search results provide the name of the paper and the date, as well as the number of matches.
Choose a result and DjVu will kick in, showing you the page. From here you can zoom (though if you zoom too much everything’s unreadable) copy certain aspects of the page, move the page around, etc. For the most part I found everything readable though occasionally a paper was stained around its edges and occasionally impossible to read.
This is a good-sized archive, considering its scope, and I like the search options. Add it to your history research file.