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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