Gale NewsVault: Testimonial, November 2011

"Gale NewsVault takes digital archives to a new level. Containing over 10 million pages of newspaper and periodical content from the past four hundred years, the database contains a vast treasure trove of material for historians of Britain and America. Although the digital revolution has been underway for some years now, research has been limited by the fragmented nature of the available databases: different archives had to be searched separately, and often in different ways, making it difficult to produce consistent and comparable results. By bringing so much material together through a single search engine, Gale NewsVault opens the door to more ambitious and rigorous research. Newspapers and periodicals, different genres often examined separately, can now be compared much more easily and precisely, and this resource may help to integrate two different branches of scholarship. The inclusion of Nineteenth Century US Newspapers paves the way for historians to compare the output of the British and American press much more thoroughly than ever before. The ability to examine writing from such a broad period, meanwhile, will enable historians to extend the horizons of their work and map changes in representation and debate over longer time-scales.         

The archive itself is accessible and user-friendly. Plenty of options are provided to limit searches, whether by period, content type or keyword, and the text and images are displayed clearly and crisply. Individual articles can be read, or whole pages downloaded, and saving and printing is straightforward. The ease of use ensures that Newsvault will be of considerable value in the classroom, and students will be confidently exploring within minutes. The archive provides endless options for imaginative teachers of Britain and American history, especially those encouraging enquiry-based learning. Students with independent studies, projects or dissertations on almost any subject will be able to find relevant material here in a format they will be able to understand. Gale NewsVault is a flexible resource that can be used to provide snippets to illustrate topics, or to form the basis of sustained research.

 Gale NewsVault is, in short, a fantastic resource for students and scholars alike, and it will repay those who invest in it."

Adrian Bingham, Senior Lecturer in Modern History, University of Sheffield