The Times is to put more than 20 million archived articles online for free as part of a digital archive covering 1785 to 1985.
MediaGuardian reports that the pages will be searchable and available for free – for the time being at least. The Times plans to extend the archive to the present day and add the Sunday Times pages.
The Times’s approach is in contrast to The Guardian itself, which charges £7.95 per day – or £49.95 per month – for access to old copies including the Observer, the oldest Sunday paper in the world.
The Guardian archive stretches to 1990 though according to its website it will be updated to 2003 “soon”.
A sign of times perhaps is that the modern day editions of The Times – the period from 1985 to 2005 – contains more content than the entirety of the editions from the previous 200 years.