State Library Helps Residents Avoid News Archive Pay Walls

The state of Tennessee is helping residents avoid paying for old newspaper articles. The state library has started keeping five years of archived stories available for free online.

The state didn’t strike agreements with the four largest daily papers. In fact, some of them, including The Tennessean, didn’t know their archives were going to be opened up. The paper typically charges a fee for online access to stories more than a few weeks old.

Spokesman Bob Faricy says The Tennessean is trying to figure out what the state library’s move will mean.

“But at the end of the day, it’s still our product that a lot of people pay for every day, and so from a business standpoint, that’s still the way we view it.”

The state library is using third party services to license the newspaper archives and paying for the access, nearly $300,000 for the first year.

To search the newspaper archives, Tennessee residents have to include their zip code and phone number to get access.

Here is a link to the Tennessee Electronic Library.

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