The Mirror will make more than 100 years of archived content available to the public online in January.

The paper has spent several painstaking years turning its archive into searchable Portable Document Format (PDF) to allow users to hunt for contemporary accounts of major world events and stories more close to home.

The developers hope the service will allow people to conduct genealogical searches as well as providing them with information on events like Bobby Moore lifting the World Cup and the blow-by-blow run up to two world wars.

"We have digitised the whole hundred-year archive; now it's all fully searchable as PDF," said John Churchill, commercial manager of Mirror Pix.

"It is a fantastic tool. It's possible to find a story and download the page on which it appears, but the other neat thing about it is that, whichever page you find with your story on, the system will also bring back the whole edition of that paper," he added.

The archive, which dates back to 1903, is being hosted at Arcitext, where it has been online while testing is carried out. Currently the archive is open only for research purposes to a handful of subscribers.

It is still undecided if, at public launch, the archive will be Mirror-branded or if it will appear under a different site name, said Mr Churchill.

He added that, whatever form the archive took, it would be a paid-for search service, although he doubted it would be subscription based.

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