Frequently Asked Questions

Learn More About SmallTownPapers®

What is SmallTownPapers?

SmallTownPapers, Inc. is a Shelton, Washington-based company dedicated to using archive and internet technology to make newspaper archives from small towns available to anyone with a computer. SmallTownPapers works with publishers to create high quality images of newspaper archives that are completely searchable online through the SmallTownPapers website (

How is SmallTownPapers different from other digital newspaper archives?

A traditional searchable archive is a text file and provides the reader with the ability to search published articles. SmallTownPapers creates images of superior quality by scanning directly from the printed newspaper pages. Viewers see the newspaper just as it was printed and can search for any term appearing on the page in articles, photographs and advertisements.

Who will be interested in accessing the SmallTownPapers archives?

The archives of newspapers from America's small towns possess inherent value. They hold substantial unique information that does not appear in regional or national newspapers. This information is valuable to numerous segments of society including researchers, genealogists, historians, governments and legal professionals. Until now, accessing these archives meant an individual had to travel to the location where each archive is stored and then sift manually through each page looking for the information desired. SmallTownPapers creates high-quality images of the newspapers and places them in an internet accessible digital archive that is completely searchable. Millions of pages of information can be accessed from a single source using a common internet browser.

Aren't these newspapers creating their own digital archives?

Many independent publishers who produce these newspapers generally operate with a strict budget and can rarely afford to create digital archives of their papers. Very few were even recorded on microfilm. Creating digital images of an entire newspaper archive is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor for newspapers with tight budgets and limited staffs. If some type of archive is not created, these newspapers will eventually deteriorate and then disappear altogether due to the frailty of newsprint paper. SmallTownPapers provides the technology and production services at no cost to the publisher.

How many newspapers have their archivesavailable on the SmallTownPapers website?

Currently there are more than 130 newspapers from 27 states represented on the SmallTownPapers website, but this number is expected to soon grow to several hundred publications.

Which newspapers can place their archives on the SmallTownPapers website?

The newspapers must be small community-based publications serving a certain geographic area, and the newspaper must produce its own content.

For more information contact SmallTownPapers.