In July 2008 the Australian Newspapers Beta was released to the public. This is a free online service that enables full-text searching of newspaper articles. The service includes newspapers published in each state and territory from the 1800s to the mid-1950s, when copyright applies. The first Australian newspaper, published in Sydney in 1803, is included in the service. By 2010 the service will comprise 40 million searchable articles.Eventually, the program will include 475,000 individual newspaper issues, which will consist of 40 million news stories.
If you would like a perspective on digitization, see "The Current State-of-art in Newspaper Digitization, A Market Perspective" by Edwin Klijn. As noted by that article, "From 2007 to 2011, within the framework of the project Databank of Digital Daily Newspapers (DDD), the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB, the National Library of the Netherlands) will digitize and put online 8 million pages from a selection of national, regional, local and colonial Dutch daily newspapers."