A one-stop shop for those wanting to digitize and put archives online.

We’ve been digitizing newspaper archives, primarily bound volumes, for years but have noticed quite an increase in organizations eager to have their archive content scanned and placed online. Readers expect to be able to easily search old newspapers for information — they want that information at their fingertips. Gone are the days of people traveling to the newspaper office to go through bound volumes or sitting at a library looking through microfilm. We’re often the first stop for newspaper publishers wanting an easy and affordable way to digitally preserve and make their archives online accessible.

We’re also finding an increasing number of historical societies and local museums contacting us to digitize different historical materials including newspapers. Those organizations may have received grants or other funding and are looking for an efficient way to scan the content and have it uploaded for online access. We have great new tools for easy management of the new online historical resource.

How does it work? We provide customers with shipping containers, we organize shipping, scan the materials (even delicate and fragile archives), return the original archive to the customer and we place the digital archive online where it can be searched and enjoyed. Contact us to learn more about how to get started. You can email Karen@smalltownpapers.com or call our office at 360.427.6300.

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A look back at life in America.

There is perhaps no more interesting and entertaining reading than going through historic editions of newspapers.  You may hear people say, “you just can’t make this stuff up.” From advertisements to columns detailing social life in town, you learn a lot about a community by perusing newspaper archives. Here is a great example – check out an article from the Dayton Daily News (click here) which includes an ad where someone was looking for “used false teeth” and another looking for the owner of a found carrier pigeon.  It was the earliest form of Facebook or Nextdoor.

What’s best about newspaper archives today is that people are beginning to recognize the value of the content they hold — and they understand that the history these original editions contain, should never be lost.  Just check out how one newspaper felt when a reader brought a bound volume containing original newspapers into the office – sheer delight. (read the story here) Digitizing will preserve newspaper pages so that you see them just as they were printed.  You are able to enjoy and search the advertisements, photographs and articles.

Ask your local newspaper to digitize their archives if they haven’t already.  ArchiveInABox is a service that can help them digitize any newspaper archives (printed, bound volume and microfilm) and host them online where they can be easily and conveniently accessed and searched. If you own newspaper archives, contact us to find out how to take steps toward digitally preserving them for the world to explore and enjoy.  Email us at paulj@smalltownpapers.com.

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Essential archive management for newspapers

SmallTownPapers announced the latest release of its flagship service platform ArchiveInABox now allows newspapers to consolidate all archive content in one place. Publishers are given a dedicated web page and management interface to archive all their articles, whether published in print or on their website, and can now upload their weekly PDF print editions. All uploaded content is indexed for search within the platform and external public search engines.

Free online access to the complete archive engages readers and generates revenue for the newspaper through its own local advertising posted on the archive webpage. Publishers can also opt to push articles to premium content providers with a royalty component. Use of the platform by publishers is free, and when ready, publishers can begin digitizing bound volumes and microfilm archives which are also hosted in the platform.

Contact us to learn more – call (360) 427-6300 or email paulj@smalltownpapers.com.

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Let your archive work for you in 2017.

What is your archive content going to do for you next year? Will it help bring in more readers? Engage your community? Create a fresh new source of revenue?  SmallTownPapers can show you how your archive can do all of those things and more. We not only help digitize and place archive content online, we also show organizations how they can pay for digitization, market the online archive and use it to create new revenue streams.  We make it easy to digitize and put archives online so that the historical content is not only digitally preserved and protected… but it also works for its publisher.

>>Before you give your archive to another institution to scan/digitize, read this article about the importance of maintaining ownership and control of your content.

While many are just getting started with digitizing their print archive material, some publishers are already thinking about how to preserve their ‘born digital’ or online content and make it part of their official archive. We have created a solution that houses all archive content – print and born digital – in one, easy to access place.

Contact us today to learn more and get started putting your archive online for all to enjoy and explore.

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New help for publishers wanting to preserve archives.

As more and more newspapers begin to offer online news, there is growing conversation about how that material — online articles and news updates — are archived. How does a publisher ensure all of their stories are archived and how best should they make their complete archive content accessible to the public?

SmallTownPapers, Inc. has been creating solutions for publishers for nearly two decades and now has a way publishers can easily manage their new and growing archive questions.  Check out this month’s WNPA newsletter and a front page article on how SmallTownPapers is helping publishers address their latest archive needs.

>>The article can be read here.

For more information, contact us at karen@smalltownpapers.com or call us at (360) 427-6300.

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Getting started digitizing your archive.

For many publishers or historical societies wanting to digitize their newspaper archive, the thought of getting started is daunting.  Where do you begin?  Which archive newspapers, bound volumes or microfilm reels should you scan first?

Your first thought may be to scan the oldest and most fragile archive material first but many of our customers have proceeded a different way.  If the community is celebrating an anniversary of some sort, it makes sense to scan the papers connected to that event.  If you have a business or organization sponsoring the scanning effort, consider letting them decide which newspapers they want to see online first.  For many, scanning papers in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s first is most practical because those are the pages nostalgic baby boomers want to look through the most.  You know your audience best so think about them when deciding where to begin.

With our program, you decide which pages are scanned first and at what pace. There’s no contract so you are able to schedule a single shipment to get started – that way, you’re able to build community interest and support by actually showing them the online archive and letting them search and explore it.

Contact us to get started today. Email karen@smalltownpapers.com if you have any questions or would like to schedule a shipment.

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Towns with lost archives.

Amid the calls from newspaper publishers and historical societies eager to digitize their archives to prevent them from ever being lost are the stories we hear from communities trying to piece together archives that were never preserved.  We read an article recently about one such community.  The Missoula Independent’s Derek Brouwer wrote about the demise of the Bigfork Eagle newspaper.

“It’s not easy to find a copy of the Eagle’s last edition. The local museum didn’t save any, nor the local library branch, which doesn’t have space for archives (though an older patron suggests looking online). Even library headquarters in Kalispell seems to have misplaced it. Recent issues are stacked in a dusty upstairs closet, where the newest Eagle on file is dated May 27, 2015. The librarian shrugs at the missing seven months and insists the closet be kept shut so the rest don’t disappear, too.” (Click here for the full article)

It’s heartbreaking to think that the town’s documented history can’t be accessed, researched, enjoyed and explored.  It’s also a strong reminder of why it’s so important to digitize archive material today.  The bound volume and loose printed archives are deteriorating (the paper newspapers were printed on simply does not last forever) and should be preserved as soon as possible.  Microfilm also ages and, while it was the preferred way to preserve an archive decades ago, today’s scanning technology provides a superior image and one that everyone can easily access from any Internet connection.

SmallTownPapers offers a way for newspapers and historical societies to easily digitize archives.  Our product called ArchiveInABox provides all logistics – you simply call to arrange scanning and then pack up a shipment of archive content to get started. They arrange shipping for you as well as online hosting.  To learn more, contact ArchiveInABox today. 

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Tips for seeking grants to pay for archive preservation.

SmallTownPapers’ scanning program, ArchiveInABox, works with numerous organizations that seek grants to pay to digitize the community’s newspaper archive and make it online accessible for everyone to explore and enjoy.  Nearly every community has an organization which provides historical preservation type grant funds so check around and see what’s available in your area.

There are a few steps to help you get organized if you’re about to apply for such grants.

  1. Inventory your newspaper archive.
    You’ll want to know how many newspaper editions and how many pages you are working with. If you have bound volumes, how many are there and how many pages do they contain?  If you have microfilm, how many reels?
  2. Gauge the condition of the archive material.
    Whether you’re working with bound volumes, loose printed newspapers or microfilm, take pictures and notes about the condition of the material. Fragile archives will require white glove handling to protect them.
  3. Consider which you’d like to digitize first.
    Most people think of scanning the oldest material first but often, it is a different decade that may be of the most interest to your community.  Baby boomers, for example, enjoy looking back at childhood and early adult years so the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s may be where you want to begin.  If your community has an anniversary such as a centennial celebration coming up, you may want to begin with that decade.
  4. Research your options for digitizing.
    Do your research, check references, pricing, and make sure that your archive is being handled by organizations with experience and expertise in digitizing archives and scanning often delicate newspaper pages.  If you have bound volumes, ensure they are not taken apart for scanning unless you request it.  If you want a bound volume unbound for scanning, you can request it be rebound though there will be additional costs involved.
  5. Where is the content hosted?
    Think about whether you want the content hosted by the scanning company or you want to upload and host it yourself.  Ask what’s involved in hosting.
  6. Digital scan ownership.
    Check and make sure that you retain ownership and control of the digital scans.

With this information in hand, completing your grant application will be much easier.  Once you have the grant, you will be ready to decide where to begin and when you want to get started.

ArchiveInABox has a proven system that makes it as easy as possible – we send you a shipping container, arrange shipping, scanning and return the original material and scans to you.  Contact us today (karen@smalltownpapers.com) for a quote or to get started.

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Should Newspapers Remove or Redact Archive Content?

As more and more newspaper archives are digitized and made online accessible and searchable, newspapers are receiving requests to remove, block or redact some of their archive content. It happens for a number of reasons and newspapers struggle with the best way to respond.

What should their policy be regarding these requests? Do they redact or unpublish content that has already been published? Do they approach it case by case?

An article published recently by Sylvia Stead in the Globe and Mail does a nice job of outlining the issues and how she approaches the requests. It’s worth reading as this is an issue that is here to stay.

>>Click here to read, “Public Editor: We’re not in the unpublishing business.”

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Creative Methods Newspapers Are Using To Afford Archive Scanning

Guardian 6-18-21 to 6-10-22 Damage_binding 2Newspaper publishers are understandably nervous about their bound volume and loose printed archives. On one hand, they are desperate to have their increasingly fragile newspaper archives scanned and placed online where they can safely be searched by their own staff and the community but on the other hand, they are intimidated by the thought of what it might cost to make that happen.

Today, newspapers are finding creative ways to afford to have their archive scanned. Two newspapers we’ve worked with are talking about the successful methods they used to raise enough money to scan and place their entire archives online.  The secret was their going to the community and asking for support. No one is more eager to have that history online than the people and businesses in the communities the newspapers serve.

There are several ways to go about it. Some newspapers today are going to the community and securing sponsors for the archive digitization – it’s simply selling sponsorships like they do advertising. For businesses, they receive public recognition of their commitment to the community along with print and, in some cases, online promotion.

For Arkansas Catholic Newspaper and The Jewish News of Tidewater, the approach was similar but more of a true community campaign.  Read their case studies below to learn how they did it and you can contact us for more information.

>>Arkansas Catholic Newspaper
>>The Jewish News of Tidewater (Virginia)





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