London, Sep 9: Google Inc has undertaken a new project to make archives of the world-famous newspapers available on the Internet.
Making an announcement in this regard, the company said that its newspaper-scanning project would begin with a handful of North American newspapers, including the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, considered to be the continent's oldest newspaper. While big newspapers like The Times and The New York Times have already opened their archives to readers, smaller publications do not have the resources to embark on the labour-intensive process of scanning thousands of editions.
Google said that it wanted that billions of articles from the past 250 years be available on the Internet.
"We'll be bringing online generations of writers. We're adding newspapers to the broader sweep of offline material we're bringing online," Times Online quoted Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products, as telling the TechCrunch 50 conference in San Francisco.
The company also said that it would bear all costs of scanning the archives of any newspapers willing to allow the stories to be shown free on Google's website.
According to the firm, a part of the revenue generated from advertising displayed next to the stories will be shared with the participating publishers.
"I believe this could be a turning point for the industry. This helps us unlock a bit of an asset that had just been sitting within the organisation," said Pierre Little, publisher of the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph, which has an archive dating back to 1764.
Google has refused to tell how many other papers have signed up or how much the company has budgeted for the project.
The archive articles will be shown in the same format as they originally appeared, allowing readers to zoom into stories and browse through the rest of the edition.
Finding the old newspaper stories initially will require readers to use Google's news search pages, but archive newspaper stories should start showing up on Google's main results page within a year, Google said.