11 May 2011
Readex Digital Resources Pilot
The Library holds a large collection of electronic resources, from digitised newspapers to bibliographic databases and videos of theatrical performances (there's a guide here). In BL jargon, they're referred to as 'e-resources', and, on the whole, they are great.
There are problems, though. Not least, for many British Library readers, is the requirement that the resources can only be accessed in the reading rooms, typically on the Library computers, rather than their own laptops via WiFi. Nor can they be accessed at home.
This, of course, is a result of the licencing restrictions, and the need to balance readers and publishers' rights and requirements. But today, I'm pleased to report that a pilot programme has been launched, testing remote access to three resources we purchased from Readex: Early American Newspapers (1690-1876), World Newspaper Archive: Africa 1800-1922, and Foreign Broadcast Information Service: regions 1-4, 1974-1996. I'm particularly pleased about the newspapers, but the other resources are great, too.
If you hold a St Pancras Readers Pass, then you should be able to access them via the link towards the bottom of the e-resources page using your reader pass number and password for the integrated catalogue. There's also a link on the login page to leave feedback - which would be very welcome - as well as details about the terms and conditions and FAQs. This pilot should run for six months. I hope that you find it useful for your research.