"The British Library is to digitise up to 40m newspaper pages and then make them available online. They will include papers – local, regional and national – dating back to the early 1700s.
The vast majority of the library's 750m pages of newspapers — the largest collection in the world — are currently available only on microfilm or bound in bulky volumes.
The library said it would focus initially on digitising papers that document historical events in the 19th century, such as the Crimean War, the Boer War and the suffragette movement.
The cost of the 10-year project – to be carried out by online publisher Brightsolid – is not clear, but Sanderson said the process — from cleaning a single page to making a file of it — costs up to £1."