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Original copies of newspapers are often very difficult to acquire. Far from the reach of researchers these newspapers are a prized possession. Their fragile nature warrants special care and minimal handling which often makes them even less publicly accessible. Digitization opens up access to this valuable resource.

With each passing day, newspaper publishers are shifting their focus away from print editions to online content. Online publication generates more revenue, and is an increasingly cost effective method, as print advertising revenue continues to fall. These are the early signs of the dawning of an inevitably digital age of news.

Keeping pace with this transition is of vital concern, as the older physical copies of newspapers are much in demand by historians and scholars. While new information is being made readily available every day on the Web, older copies of newspapers are lagging dated news is a challenging process that is time consuming and tedious, yet vital to recording the past.

Digitization of the present and the historic newspapers will transform their value. The digitization of such newspapers will allow an instant search for certain criteria across space and time. Optic Character Recognition (OCR) technology is the centerpiece of creating full-text from digital images. Digitizing historic newspapers is a complex and difficult task, as it involves generating text from deteriorated originals, unusual fonts, faded printing, shaded backgrounds and skewed text.

If a newspaper has been microfilmed earlier, it can be converted to digital format that takes archiving from physical domain of the negatives to the digital domain. While microfilms may currently meet the requirement of the present time, it does not guarantee its future utility as technology advances. It is also highly probable that the original copies of newspapers may not survive till then.

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PDL has created necessary in-house infrastructure for the digitization of old newspapers of contributing individuals and institutions. PDL scanners have the ability to capture wide images in high quality. PDL is continuously researching and building upon the experience and expertise of our past projects in the field. We are creating realistic benchmarks and knowledge to prepare newspapers for digitization.

PDL is diligently working to make the historic newspapers of Panjab available online. Hundreds of pages are being scanned daily, thus adding to a central repository and making it the most unique library in the region housing different newspapers spanning a broad arc of time. The PDL staff oversees each project from acquisition to archiving, with full professionalism. Once the digitization is complete, the originals are returned to the custodian along with a digital copy of the newspaper on DVD.

Newspapers at a glance
A newspaper is a form of publication that contains news, views, information, advertising, etc... usually printed on inexpensive paper called newsprint. Newspapers generally feature articles on politics, society, art, literature, commerce, entertainment, sports, weather, etc..., besides the additional features either forming the main corpus of the newspapers, or carried in supplementary issues that include reviews, critics, gossip, humor, comics, classified ads, recipes, real estate, education, careers, employment, lifestyle, marriage announcements, etc... Newspapers are most often published on a daily or weekly basis, and focus on a particular geographic region where most of their subscribers live. This makes newspapers a rich repository of information for that particular locale.

Newspapers constitute a unique resource of history. They provide valuable information about the age and the times, often not found in any other historical source. Because of their frequent publication cycle and their ability to update and correct themselves from day to day, they depict the mindset, life style of the state and of the society at an exact moment in time.
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