Wednesday 13 August 2014

The Times Digital Archive. From the end of Solidarity to President Obama.

Quiz time. What have the following events all got in common: the end of Solidarity; the opening of the Channel Tunnel; the fall of the Berlin Wall; the creation of the Eurozone; the England football team being beaten (repeatedly!) on penalties; the release of the movie trilogy of The Lord of the Rings; and the election of America’s first black president? Any ideas? No? Well let me tell you. These life-changing events all took place in the twenty two years between 1986 and 2008.

This same period is now being covered by The Times Digital Archive. This fantastic resource originally offered two hundred years’ worth of digital versions of its newspapers dating from 1785 to 1985. That coverage has now been extended by a further twenty-two years to include the period to 2008.

If you are anything like me then the first thing that you are going to search for is the newspaper issued on you birthday (providing it doesn’t fall on a Sunday). If only I’d been born two weeks later mine would have been the Moon-landing issue!

But the site allows much more sophisticated search options than those afforded just by date of issue. The basic search on the homepage is quite powerful and it can be refined by limiting results to a particular date or spread of dates.

There is also an advanced search facility which allows much more complex multi-item enquiries. These too can be further filtered by showing results which only appear in the article title for instance, or those that are in a particular section of the newspaper, such as arts and entertainment, or in business and finance.

Another useful function of the site is the Search History which allows you to see previous searches and to quickly return to them without the need for repeating the original search.

So have a go, have a look at some of the world-changing events listed above. Have a look at the newspaper issued on your birthday or for any number of other events that are now available in this wide-ranging and hugely comprehensive resource. It’s easy to use, it’s great fun and it brings back some great memories.

Do remember that we have other news services available. Take a look at Nexis UK and Infotrac Newsstand

For further information please contact the Library Academic Services Group on

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