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Newspaper archive plans:What is Newsplan 2000?

Newsplan 2000 is a preservation and access initiative to preserve, onarchival-quality microfilm, local newspaper titles throughout the UnitedKingdom, which are in danger of decay and destruction.

Once microfilmed, the newspapers can be digitised for circulation via the internet benefiting every level of education.

For school pupils and students, the Project plugs directly into the National Curriculum and, through its website, will bring unique local material from throughout the UK direct to classrooms and learning centres.

Other beneficiaries include genealogists, local historians, academics, social researchers and students of life-long learning.

Dr Ann Matheson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Newsplan 2000Project, said: “The Project’s primary aim is to preserve one of the UK’spriceless historical assets – its local newspapers – and to ensure thatevery citizen can have better access to this important part of ourhistorical record”.

The project has received a Stage One pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund to preserve unique and fragile collections of local newspapers held in libraries throughout the UK.

The main aims of the Newsplan 2000 are to:

  • Donate the microfilm it produces, through a network of regional groups,free of charge to local libraries in the areas served by each newspaper.
  • Supply libraries with 800 microfilm readers and 60 reader-printers at nocost.
  • Store the microfilm in secure, archival condition.
  • Fund investigations into digitising the microfilm to allow onlinesearching over the internet.
  • Catalogue every title and make records available over the internet.

    The tender for the work is currently being finalised and will be circulated in theOfficial Journal of the European Community in late April/early May.

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