"Each topic page collects all the news, reference and archival information, photos, graphics, audio and video files published on topics ranging from A M Castle & Company to Zyuganov, Gennadi A. This treasure trove is available without charge on articles going back to 1981."
Does "articles going back to 1981" mean 1) all the articles were written in 1981, or 2) some articles were written in 1981 and some were written after 1981?
Your original text refers to "articles" that have been written since 1981.
The content of the articles need not be affected by the same constraints. They could refer to buildings (if that is the basis for the articles) built either before or after that date - including even those built significantly before that date (e.g. ancient Greece/Rome).
PS If you now change the ground rules from "articles" to "buildings" that would change the response to your OP.
So, "old buildings dating back to 1981" means old buildings that were built in 1981? But "news articles dating back to 1981" allows for the possibility that some of the articles were written later than 1981?
I am sorry, Route21! I messed up my last post. Let me rephrase it:
Suppose "buildings" means physical building structures like houses. And suppose "articles" means written stories that people can read. Suppose also, that the
"buildings" in one phrase have nothing to do with the "articles" in another phrase.
Then, "buildings going back to 1981" means buildings that were built in 1981 only? But "news articles going back to 1981" allows for the possibility that some of the articles were written later than 1981?