Newspaper preservation campaign completed

Scotland's historic newspapers saved for the nation

World leading archive now accessible at National Library of Scotland

NEWSPLAN SCOTLAND, an ambitious campaign to preserve almost 4 million pages of Scotland's endangered historic newspapers from the period 1700-1950, led by the National Library of Scotland (NLS), has now been completed.

The campaign formed the Scottish element of the UK NEWSPLAN Project, which was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund with contributions from the newspaper industry, participating libraries, and others.

NEWSPLAN SCOTLAND adds 606 Scottish newspaper titles and 9,846 reels of microfilm to the National Library of Scotland's collection as well as extending the holdings of local libraries across Scotland. Many titles were filmed from original newspapers already held by NLS.

As a result NLS now has the most comprehensive archive of Scottish newspapers in the world, including some copies of newspapers previously held only by the British Library. This offers readers the opportunity to access the content of titles that have not been read in Scotland since they were first published — some of which date back to the early 18th century.

Researchers and local historians can now retrieve early editions of current newspapers or historic titles which are no longer in publication — such as the Aberdeen Shaver, Caledonian Mercury, Cambuslang Pilot, Dumfries Mercury, Piper O' Dundee, Edinburgh Star, Glasgow Clincher, Greenock Election Squib, Highland Echo, Scottish Prohibitionist and Saturday Smile.

Cate Newton, Director of Collection Development at NLS, and Chair of NEWSPLAN SCOTLAND, says: 'The NEWSPLAN microfilms, together with other newspaper titles already held by the National Library, offer an exciting opportunity to view a unique resource which gives an insight to the vast local history of Scotland.'

All 3.97 million pages of Scottish newsprint that have been preserved are available for consultation at the National Library. Local libraries also hold titles that are relevant to their geographical area. The microfilms are read using specially installed equipment delivered to each participating library.

11 August 2005

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