Tuesday, July 31, 2007

SPH And NLB Sign Agreement For Digitisation Of The Straits Times Archives - Digitised Archives Available To The Public From The Second Half Of 2008

This was announced today at the SPH and NLB websites (excerpt):
SINGAPORE, 31 July 2007 – The National Library Board (NLB) and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) today signed an agreement to digitise The Straits Times (ST) archives dating as far back as 1845. The digitised archival content will be made available to the public at NLB libraries for individual research and reference purposes from the second half of 2008.

... In collaborating with the National Library, all available printed copies of The Straits Times will be digitised and made easily accessible to the public within NLB's network of libraries in Singapore.

Access and use of the digitised news content will be restricted to non-commercial uses in line with NLB's function in overseeing the National Library and public libraries. The National Library may also re-package the content to develop information products and services for personal and non-commercial reference work and research.

I wonder how database vendors, who currently index and store Straits Times articles (at a price, I'm sure), will react to this. Anyway, this will definitely be a boon for Singaporeans, especially students and teachers. And librarians.

I can't wait. :)


  1. I can imagine fetching ST articles Minority Report style.

  2. If you're specifically referring to Factiva, I also recommend Factiva to users who are not necessarily looking for news published by SPH. Factiva also stores popular news such as Channel News Asia, and other major newspapers around the world, so I wouldn't fret. Besides, this project's going to take some time, it won't be available tomorrow for sure. Meantime, our vendors will still have a lot of time to improve on their content to complement this major milestone for us.


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