London: Google has shut down its five-year-old effort to scan and digitize newspaper archives dating back to the 18th century.
"We don`t plan to introduce any further features or functionality to the Google News Archives and we are no longer accepting new microfilm or digital files for processing," the Telegraph quoted the company as saying in a statement.
The initiative was launched in 2006 as part of Google stated mission to make all the world`s information easily available.
It signed up major US newspapers including The Washington Post and The New York Times, and defunct UK publications such as The London Advertiser, plus hundreds more.
The project sought to circumvent tricky copyright issues dating from the pre-internet age. By posting image files rather than text files online, it was thought newspapers would not have to negotiate rights to republish freelance content from the pre-internet era, according to The Boston Phoenix, another partner in the effort.
"The [scanning] process may have turned out to be harder than Google anticipated," the newspaper speculated.
"Or it may have turned out that the resulting pages drew far fewer eyeballs than anyone expected."
The millions of pages already scanned, however, will remain online.