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This paper aims to describe and explain the processes behind the creation of a digital library composed of two Swiss newspapers, namely Gazette de Lausanne (1798-1998) and Journal de Genève (1826-1998), covering an almost two-century period. We developed a general purpose application giving access to this cultural heritage asset; a large variety of users (e.g. historians, journalists, linguists and the general public) can search through the content of around 4 million articles via an innovative interface. Moreover, users are offered different strategies to navigate through the collection: lexical and temporal lookup, n-gram viewer and named entities.