I am a frequent user of the Google News Archive, which allows searching of historical newspapers back to the 1800s. In December, the archive disappeared as a search option. A new help page appeared providing alternative instructions for searching the archive, but even using those instructions, nothing can be searched older than 1970.

According to a post at a Google product forum, archive is getting a “facelift.” The post from a Google community manager said:

We are performing a much needed facelift on our News Archive search function as we swap out an old system for an improved one. We are focusing engineering resources on building this new system, and as a result, for the next several months users will only be able to access archived stories through Google Search (google.com), as explained in our Help Center article.

As I said, that Help Center article is no help for pre-1970 stories and the post says nothing about whether these archives will return.

I came across one newspaper site that used Google for searching its own archives that now displays this message:

Google News Archives service has been discontinued by Google.

I can’t find a clear answer anywhere. If anyone knows the fate of the Google News Archives, please let me know.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.