Sunday, 22 September 2013

Frustration continues with British Newspaper Archive

Last week the British Newspaper Archive ( posted an update to say that after three months of nothing new going online, normal service would soon resume. This was part of the announcement earlier last week:

We are now pleased to announce that new pages will begin to appear on the site later this week, gradually increasing to almost double the previous process limits of about 10,000 pages/day. In addition, the next few months will see inclusion of new titles from Yorkshire, Sunderland and Burnley. More news soon!

It's now Sunday, and there appears to have been bog all added to the site if you look at the new additions page - however, that's not quite the case. On it's Facebook page, in answer to continued angry comments about the lack of new material as people's subscriptions expire, the BNA has stated the following:

We are currently working on uploading new content to the website. Some new pages (‘The Taunton Courier’ from 1835) have already just been added to the site, which shows us that the new system is working. We also have plenty more data currently being processed, and are carrying out checks and testing the quality of the new pages. We’re extremely close to adding much more new content to the site, and achieving the sort of numbers mentioned in the ‘Content Update’ message on the homepage. So, apologies for the added delay, but we are very close to adding lots of further new content to the site via the new system

I've had a look at the additions for The Taunton Courier, and they break down as follows:

1800-1849 (678 issues)
1850-1899 (1,875 issues)
1900-1949 (1,437 issues)
1950-1999 (52 issues)

If you look at the BNA's Facebook page, there has understandably been a lot of anger from subscribers about the delays in getting new content online. Let's hope it can pull its finger out and get its act together again quickly...


My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from (print) and (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs, starts Nov 13th - see

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