Published June 21, 2019 | Version v1
Conference paper Open

Opening Digitized Newspapers for Different User Groups - Successes and Challenges

  • 1. National Library of Finland


In recent years the National Library of Finland (NLF) has taken several initiatives to enable access to the digitized Finnish newspapers for wider use. Technical improvements in the presentation system (Digi) and agreements with Finnish copyright organizations have made it possible to provide access to copyrighted material in different ways. Since 2016 NFL has opened over 4 million pages of digitized newspapers and journals from years 1911-1929 to open online use in the Digi system. This has doubled the digitized material available outside of the legal deposit libraries. The opening has benefited both the general public and researchers.In a pilot project, digitized newspapers and journals from years 1930-2010 are opened for research use. During the one and half year’s pilot period, authorized users are able to access the materials in restricted use through the Digi system from their own premises and with their own devices. The NLF has promoted the use of newspapers as data in research by providing ready-made datasets available in the Digi system. The datasets contain all the digitized newspaper pages from 1771 to 1910 in the ALTO XML format and some other data collections. The datasets are sufficient for many users, but customized packages have also been required. One of these cases is the Horizon 2020 funded EU project NewsEye in which the NLF is participating. The aim of the project is to develop new integrated tools and methods for effective exploration and exploitation of digital newspapers by means of new technologies. The NLF provides to the project a set of 0.5 million pages of digitized newspapers selected with the researchers in the project. All in all, efforts to increase the use of digitized newspapers have been successful in many ways. However, a number of issues still needs to be considered in the future. The paper summarizes experiences so far.


Opening Digitized Newspapers for Different User Groups - Successes and Challenges.pdf

Additional details


NewsEye – NewsEye: A Digital Investigator for Historical Newspapers 770299
European Commission