Beginning today, the UC Berkeley academic community will have access to a 60-day trial of RetroNews. While much of this historical French language news collection is freely available through Gallica, the advanced functionality and added content is only available to subscribers. An initiative of BnF-Partenariats, which is a subsidiary of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), RetroNews aims to increase the digitization of its paper press collections which are increasingly at risk of serious damage over time. To explore all of its features, it is necessary to create an account (s’inscrire) after authenticating with your CalNet ID.
RetroNews, a unique digital resource for research and education
RetroNews, which is the French national library’s platform dedicated to historical printed press, offers a vast online archive of French and francophone periodicals. The collection features over 600 newspapers, journals, magazines and reviews, published between 1631 and 1950: the most important titles of the daily press (Le Petit Parisien, Le Journal, Le Matin) but also periodicals of the political spectrum, regional publications and satirical magazines.
Every month, RetroNews enriches its archive with new exclusive titles in order to gather a large plurality of sources covering all of France, including its former territories, from the first newspapers up until the 20th century. In addition RetroNews offers introductory notes on its periodicals, daily editorial content and advanced research capabilities.
Leading-edge tools designed for academic research
All titles have been processed by optical character recognition (OCR) and semantic analysis, allowing highly targeted search queries. Search by date, typology, periodicity, word frequency or apply complex content filtering (topics, events, persons, organizations, locations) and watch your results pop up in the blink of an eye. The streamlined document viewer offers multiple features speeding up the research workflow, like highlighting of named entities, download, page annotation and more. The advanced features and tools are summarized in detail here.
An editorial offer by a team of journalists and scholars
Every day, articles, documentary series, video and audio content retrace historic events and their reception by the contemporary press. Embracing the methodology of public history, RetroNews offers not only a panoramic overview of the history of the press but also various starting points (by topics, by periods) that allow a large audience to discover the rich cultural heritage brought forth through the mediatization of historic periodicals.
Some reviews and further information:
- Qui sommes-nous? Basic questions about RetroNews
- The Press Collection of the French National Library (Bibliothèque Nationale de France)
- RetroNews: History Witnessed Through the Press Collections of the BnF
Please create a free account, experiment with the resource and send your feedback and comments before June 15, 2020 to Claude Potts [cpotts AT berkeley DOT edu].