Thursday, 14 February 2013

Nostalgia for press cuttings

Despite the prevalence of full-text databases, digital archives and other electronic sources, old-fashioned press cuttings can still be a valuable research tool for journalists. I wrote about this, along with the nostalgia for the scrappy files, for the Guardian's Open door column.

The response was predictably misty-eyed, with the piece providing an excuse for people to reminisce about the good old days of Fleet Street. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it was interesting to discover that a campaign has been started by a group of journalists in Leeds to try and preserve cuttings libraries. Presserve aims to identity titles which still have such collections, with a view to estimating the amount of work (and the costs) necessary to digitise the material and make it publicly available online.

More details can be found on their website and a letter about the group appeared in the Guardian.