The Times Online announced beginning Thursday they will charge for access to their archives. Free access to their archives was launched in June. This follows Google's announcement of their plans to digitize newspapers.
According The Guardian, an email was sent to Times Online users describing the first three months access to archives as a "free introductory period." The email went on to say, "On Thursday September 18, the free introductory period will end, so we're writing to let you know how you can continue to enjoy this wonderful resource."
The 200-year archive includes news stories from 1785 to 1985 including the Battle of Waterloo, the arrival of convicts at Botany Bay and the execution of Marie Antoinette.
Paid access to sites, rather than relying purely on advertising, is seen as a more stable revenue stream. However, according to online editor, Anne Spackman, this is not the case, the trial is designed to allow the paper to see what kind of content people are visiting the archives for.
Access charges will be £4.95 for a day, £14.95 for one month and £74.95 for a year.