Putting the past online

Digital archives are in the news at the moment with the British Library putting newspapers online from the 1800s and the Economist putting up 160 years’ worth of its articles. There’s a but though: we have to pay for access to the Economist and the newspapers are for students.

But there are some brilliant free archives around too. Most UK newspapers let you some way into their historical bowels and that for US news weekly Time has been a boon. Why the Economist couldn’t have done something similar is a mystery to me.

And if you don’t know the Wayback Machine – which is archiving the web – take a look. I can see what Magforum pages looked like going back to 2002. In fact, I used it to help set up Magforum by looking at pages I ran at West Herts College in 1999 – years after the college had taken them down.

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