Making money from the archives
September 21st, 2006 by Tom Johnson

Here's another example of how most any newspaper could (a) create a database helpful to reporters and (b) generate revenue for the organization.  Not much, perhaps, but revenue.

Earlier this week, BT (formerly British Telecom) announced that it was partnering with to post “more than a century of its telephone books” online.  This will be of special interest to geneological researchers, of course, but surely reporters would find it a helpful tool to research individuals or companies.  To the extent that street addresses are available, this is also a potentially rich source of GIS data for historical mapping.

And here's the revenue connection:  “Publishing the BT Phone Books Archive, which is most complete set of
phone directories in existence, represents a coup for
who are establishing themselves as a leading proponent of family and
social history research on the internet.
”  A subscription to (though it is not easy to find the cost) is £69.95 (US$132) per year.  Surely, BT is going to get a cut of the phonebook-specific searches.

Obviously, all newspapers could do something similar.

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