GoogleIt Mail IT Print IT PermaLinkGoogle News Archive Search Reveals First Press Reference To Lotus Notes. In 1891!
09:00:47 PM

Yes, you read that right. 1891. The thing is,'s OCR clearly didn't read it right. I'm not going to pay for a subscription to see what the article in the Daily News of Lima, Ohio, Monday, June 22nd, 1891 really says, but here's an excerpt of the OCR text for your amusement:

Chicago notes wool receipts double- lust year's with an increase of one-half in wheat and dressed boot, and moderate increase in hides, but decrease in flour, corn and lard. bt. Lotus notes some change by frequent rains, and while lumber, 'build- ing, hardware, piunt and oil trades are especially active, tho general aggregate is rather less tlian a year ago, though of volume. It is important that all northwestern and southwestern reports mention rains, and brighter crop prospects.

So, it's nonsense, but how did I find it, and what else did I find? How about a bit of Group Therapy -- BusinessWeek's June 1995 commentary on IBM's acquisition of Lotus!

I plugged "Lotus Notes" into Google News Archive Search, which Nicholas Carr just mentioned this morning, and after seeing some reasonably current content I clicked the year links to track references back to before 1940, and that brought me to the Lima Daily News article from 1891.

Despite this obvious scanning and OCR quality issue, I think the News Archive Search is going to be a great tool. Take a look at the results for 1989-90. Sure, every single result listed that far back requires payment of one sort or another to get beyond a preview, but the headlines alone are a blast from the past, and if you were doing serious research about the early development of collaboration software, you'd probably pay for some of this content. Starting around 1995 I'm seeing occasional free articles. I suppose there could be some older free content that I haven't run across yet. I have only done a few searches so far.

Pretty cool tool.

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Comments :v

1. Lauren Schultz09/06/2006 11:16:04 PM

I love googles new search but they dont provide any access like you say, its just the abstract. If you want access you can download a Congoo Netpass at

These guys claim they hold a patent on providing limited free access to content which is why you cannot get access on other search engines. There is a slighly annoying movie there too.

2. R. J. Lesch09/07/2006 11:54:08 AM

Services like Proquest and are pretty good, and Proquest is often available through public libraries. Usually the content is limited to the big papers (New York Times, etc.), but that works for many uses.

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