Richard J. Salvucci in Miller-McCune:
Paper of Record is a Canadian website that boasts of building the world’s largest searchable archive of historical newspapers. It was conceived, appropriately enough, in a Mexican restaurant in Ottawa by R. J. (Bob) Huggins. Paper of Record is, to my knowledge, the most extensive searchable archive of Mexican historical newspapers in the world. There are more than 150 logged newspapers, some dating as far back as the 1840s. Paper of Record became, outside of the National Newspaper Library of Mexico, the single most important resource of its kind for scholars like me working in Mexican history — in Mexico, the United States, anywhere. With an excellent user interface and powerful search engine, Paper of Record made a vast collection of what had been nearly unusable and generally inaccessible primary sources searchable and exploitable, at no charge to users. For some scholars, especially those of us doing commercial, political or economic history, Paper of Record became literally indispensable.
Then Google bought it.
Google closed down Paper of Record, made the papers inaccessible, promised to make them available under Google News, but mostly didn’t, and then virtually refused to discuss what had happened with anyone. Research projects in Mexico and the United States came to a halt. Advanced graduate students were stymied. A Mexican colleague asked me over lunch what had happened to Paper of Record. Not having visited the site for a couple of weeks, I didn’t know it was gone. Neither Google nor Paper of Record had seen fit to give its users any notice. They just pulled the plug … and then darkness.