One of the largest and most used digital resources is the Times Digital Archive. Available from Gale, the archive is one of over 600 other resources including a formidable newspaper collection. The company has now released a platform that allows cross searching of Gale’s range of historical newspaper and periodical collections from within a single interface. Ten Gale collections are currently accessible through the search platform, including 17th and 18th Century Burney Collection, 19th Century UK Periodicals, Times Digital Archive 1785-1985, and Financial Times Historical Archive 1888-2006.
The single interface – called Gale NewsVault – provides access to more than 2,000 titles and 10 million digitised pages covering 400 years of print. The service is available to institutions that have purchased any Gale historical newspaper or periodical collection. It allows users to simultaneously search multiple products where the institution has a subscription. After conducting a search (initially limited to resources the institution has a subscription to) users will also see an “Additional Resources” button on the results page. This button will let the user view bibliographic information for documents in all Gale newspaper and periodical collections returned as a result of the initial query, even if their institution has not purchased access to that particular collection. However only a snippet view is provided for non-subscription services with the search text highlighted. Navigation is a little awkward as to move to the next or previous pages one has to return to the top of the search results for the navigation tools. The search facility is only available via the Gale NewsVault site. I would hope that in the future such a single search interface would be available via any of the participating Gale subscription services an institution has available.