Via Gawker, of all places, I learn that Google News has been engaged in digitizing a variety of historic newspapers, including the early days of the Village Voice. Sort of like Proquest Historical Newspapers, but free. I'm still figuring out how to use it, but it seems to search not only the papers Google archived themselves, but also the archives of of papers like the NY Times that operate their own fee-based archives, as well as free ones like Time magazine.
Interesting. I've long been a fan of the Proquest version of historic newspapers, which started with the NY Times and then included the LA Times and the Wall Street Journal. Actually, this summer I've discovered that they have expanded to a whole range of papers, including back issues of the Baltimore Afro-American I would love to delve into. Unfortunately, none of the four academic institutions I steal database access from seems to subscribe to that service. Sigh. The great advantage of ProQuest is that you are dealing with PDF copies of the actual papers, ads and all, and not just plain-text articles yanked out of their physical context.
Now we just need someone to digitize all of Billboard and we're all set!
ETA: Commenter Mike points out that it is! Glory be!
4 days ago