1st Edition

Historic Newspapers in the Digital Age Search All About It!

By Paul Gooding Copyright 2017
    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    In recent years, cultural institutions and commercial providers have created extensive digitised newspaper collections. This book asks the timely question: what can the large-scale digitisation of newspapers tell us about the wider cultural phenomenon of mass digitisation? The unique form and materiality of newspapers, and their grounding in a particular time and place, provide challenges for researchers and digital resource creators alike. At the same time, the wider context in which digitisation of cultural heritage occurs shapes the impact of digital resources in ways which fall short of the grand ambitions of the wider theoretical discourse. Drawing on case studies from leading digitised newspaper collections, the book aims to provide a bridge between the theory and practice of how these digitised collections are being used. Beginning with an exploration of the hyperbolic nature of technological discourses, the author explores how web interfaces, funding models and the realities of contemporary user behaviour contrast with the hyperbolic discourse surrounding mass digitisation. This book will be of particular interest to those who want to investigate how user studies can inform our understanding of technological phenomena, including digital resource creators, information professionals, students and researchers in universities, libraries, museums and archives. 


    Figures and Tables



    List of abbreviations

    Introduction: Search All About It!

    Methods for Assessing Impact

    User Studies in the Age of Large-Scale Newspaper Digitisation


    Chapter Bibliography

    1 The Myth of the New

    Google Books: The Universal Library Reimagined

    The Role of the Technological Sublime

    Diffusion of Innovations

    Mechanical Reproduction and the End of the Age of the Author

    The City and Information Overload

    Reality and Remediation

    Summary: Waiting for the Paradigm Shift

    Chapter Bibliography

    2 Digitised Newspapers: Histories, Contexts, Behaviours

    The History of Newspapers in the United Kingdom

    Issues for the Identity of Libraries in the Digital Age

    Existing Research into Online User Behaviour

    Summary: Concurrent Discourses of Digitisation

    Chapter Bibliography

    3 Exploring Methods for Evaluating User Behaviour

    Methods for Case Study Research

    Quantitative Methods

    Web Analytics

    Referrer Analysis

    Citation Analysis

    Link Analysis

    Qualitative Methods




    Chapter Bibliography

    4 Institutional Impact of Large-Scale Digitised Collection

    Institutional Impact

    Case Study: Using interviews to identify institutional impacts

    Implications for User Support

    Licensing and Copyright: Dual Barriers to Impact

    What Role do Libraries Have in an Age of Large-Scale Digitisation?

    Summary: Online Access and the Future of Libraries

    Chapter Bibliography

    5 The Impact of Large-Scale Digitisation upon Users

    Users of Large-Scale Digitisation

    Case Study: Citation Analysis of BNCN

    Case Study: Online Survey of Users of Digitised Newspapers

    Changing Models of User Behaviour

    Case Study: Web Log Analysis of Welsh Newspapers Online

    Engagement with Users of Large-Scale Digitised Collections

    Summary: Where We’re Going We’ll Still Need Readers

    Chapter Bibliography

    6 "Unequally Free": Mapping Public Access to Digitised Collections

    Innovative Technologies, Longstanding Tensions

    Mapping the Digitised Divide

    Case Study: Mapping the Users of Digitised Newspaper Collections

    Inequalities in Access by English Public Library Authority

    Summary: The Digitised Divide in Action

    Chapter Bibliography

    7 Conclusion: Where We’re Going, We’ll Still Need Ranganathan


    Access to Digitised Library Collections


    The Stakes for Digitised Collections

    Open Access

    Open Interfaces

    Open Dialogue

    Summary: Library Digitisation as a Public Service

    Chapter Bibliography


    Paul Gooding is Research Fellow in Digital Humanities in the School of Art, Media and American Studies at the University of East Anglia, UK.

    "Historic Newspapers in the Digital Age will be of interest to media historians and other researchers who use digitised newspapers collections.[...] Overall, this is a very interesting book both for what it tells us about how digital resources are currently used by researchers, and how this diverges from earlier overly optimistic projections of total revolution."
    -Aaron Ackerley, University of Sheffield, UK