A few weeks ago, Google announced that one can download pdfs of public domain books from Google Print. Today comes another announcement about the availability of newspapers archives from 1700 to the present. Most of the stuff that I looked for in the archives was behind subscription walls but no matter.
Academics have always had these archives and the search tools that allow us to do our trade. However, these Google tools are really a revolution outside the academy. It allows easy public access to the archive [the millions book scanned - and now, the million newspapers scanned].
What that means for us? We oughta think about it.
ps. On the Google Print front, I should tell all the SAists that there is incredible material available. Search by time, rather than by keywords.