As of midnight last night, the New York Times has made anything in their archives newer than 1987 available for free. Even more interestingly, everything in the public domain (1851-1922) is also available for free, although it looks like they’re mostly just in PDF format. How can they do this? They expect to make more in increased advertising revenue than they did with the paid subscriptions.
You can find the NYTimes coverage of the most important events of the 19th century pretty easily:
- President Lincoln Shot by an Assassin, April 15, 1865
- The oldest mention of baseball I can find, September 15, 1866 (the score was 39-15!)
- The completion of the transcontinental railroad, May 10, 1869
- The opening of the Suez Canal, November 17, 1869
- The first modern Olympic Games, April 26, 1896
Update, 20 Sep: Jason Kottke has posted some more of his own finds.