Google Googles Barney Google in Newspaper Archives

Catching up on TechCrunch, I caught the post on Google’s demo of its new newspaper archive search. Try it. It’s one of those really powerful time traveling experiences that makes you appreciate the power of preserving history through digital media.

My first search was on FDR, which led me to opinions from the St. Petersburg Times on how Truman would fare as president in the aftermath of FDR’s death. It’s so much more impactful reading the actual paper rather than just the text of it in 12-pt Arial.

It’s easy to scan pages, and my eyes quickly gravitated toward the comics where I stumbled on one series, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith (see Wikipedia’s history). Along with the comic below (click to enlarge), another mention of it led me to an article on the writer’s illness; the story read, "During the absence of Google from The Times, Dumb Dora will endeavor to entertain."

Journalism doesn’t get better than that.

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