Why can I not read online even a 1897 research paper in J.Phys.Chem for free? Copyrights expire, and this is 1897 for God's sake! It is quite annoying.
She wonders why it is not free. It is not free because it is sold. Our library wants to put all the old issues of the journals (prior to 1950) in old stacks that will be not easily accessible. Though we own the hard copy of the journals, we still need to buy the archives (the online version). Buying the archives to all the old journals from just the societies would cost more than Rs. 1.5 crores. Many universities in the USA have gone ahead and bought the archives because the space that is used to store these old issues cost more.