A couple of years ago, the New York Times announced that it would no longer charge for access to its electronic archives that date back to 1851. The move allowed anyone in the world to access 160 years of historical news with the click of a button — a luxury previously limited to those with university library passwords. Well, the free lunch is over. The newspaper has quietly starting charging for access again.
According to the site’s current FAQ, articles from 1923-1980 cost $3.95 each and are delivered in PDF form. Articles before 1923 are still free since they’ve dropped into the public domain. The site still charges for some articles in 1980s, although it’s unclear what variable governs the price. Looks like all the articles from the 1990s and 2000s are still free.
The New York Times made this change with no fanfare — not that you’d expect them to. But, it appears to be part of their strategy to charge more for their content since the advertising-support model isn’t exactly working out. I guess every little bit of revenue helps.