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AFP | September 6, 2006

Internet giant Google Inc., is expected to announce that it will offer a free archive service enabling Internet users to search for printed articles back to the 1700s, US newspapers reported.

Called Google News Archive Search, the service will direct users to both paid and free content on publishers' Web sites, but will not generate revenues for Google itself, The New York Times said.

"Were not focusing on monetization yet," Anurag Acharya, a Google engineer who helped develop the service was quoted as saying by the Times on Wednesday. "This is new territory for us."

The company was working with several partners in the new service including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, Guardian Unlimited, Factiva, Lexis-Nexis, HighBeam Research and Thomson Gale, the daily said.

Some of the partners had been pressing Google to offer access to their archives for several years, The New York Times added.

The news archive also includes articles that Google has indexed from the Web without formal arrangements with their partners, The Wall Street Journal said.

The service will allow searches for news articles reaching back to the 1700s, said the Journal.

Time magazine, it added, will provide free access through Google to its archives dating back to its founding in 1923; The New York Times will offer searches back to 1981, but by next year it hopes to have digitized articles dating back to the 1850s.

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