Effective at midnight, The New York Times will make the “TimesSelect” section of its website entirely free. (It used to cost subscribers $49.95 a year.) And it will also free up “its archives from 1987 to the present … , as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain.”
In making this move, the paper will be giving up $10 million in annual subscription revenue. But it will likely make up that money (and then some) by using ads to monetize those pages. For more info, read the full article here. And click here to see what formerly closed-off content will now become freely available.
Update: Have a look at Deeplinking’s piece called Mining the New York Times Archive. It pulls out of the archive some interesting finds, including reviews of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) and Oscar Wilde’s Disgrace (1895), plus articles that survey the dynamic art scene of the early 20th century.
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With so many other quality newspapers online (The Times and similar) this was probably going to have to happen. I love the choice of news we get these days, both on the internet and cable. And it makes a good change from the football-obsessed local news (in Adelaide, Australia)!
Finally! I’ve been waiting for this and have been having a blast mining their public-domain archives.