Newspaper archives are an important piece of history, but are largely out of reach from the masses. Local archives are limited to actually visiting a library or other place of records, and forget about digital searching (usually). Google of course wants to be one of those who change that, and has launched a program aimed at getting old news into a searchable digital form.

Google is partnering with several newspaper publishers to begin digitizing "millions" of newspaper articles, going back decades. Beyond just the content of the articles itself, Google also wants to scan, archive and make searchable all the content inside old newspapers - pictures, advertisements, everything.

The concept and the attempt aren't new. The cooperation is, and it seems Google has news partners with archives extending back into the 1800s. Anyone who is a history buff could appreciate how valuable a tool like this would be.