Helping historical societies preserve archive material.

Your historical society has been entrusted with a newspaper archive.  Now what?

Across the country, millions of pages of newspaper archives have been entrusted to local historical societies for preservation but many newspaper archives are deteriorating to the point of no return. The newspaper archive can present a number of issues for a preservation group:

  • How to best manage increasingly fragile newspaper pages
  • How to allow public access to these archives
  • How to safely digitize the newspaper archives
  • Hto provide public hosting so people can access them online
  • How to attract community business leaders to participate with costs

For its valuable features and benefits, historical societies across North America are choosing the ArchiveInABox™ scanning and hosting service from SmallTownPapers® where all digitizing services include no-cost online hosting.

>>Example of digitized newspaper collection we scanned and host for the Monroe Historical Society.

After being recommended by other historical societies, the Duvall (WA) Historical Society turned to ArchiveInABox to make its historical newspaper archives online-accessible for the first time. The historical society’s Mary Lampson is coordinating the effort: “The Duvall Historical Society receives lots of requests for information about the past, and old newspapers are a great resource for looking into those; however, the paper copies are fragile and deteriorating. Since the technology is now available to digitize this information, it will be very helpful to us, as well as to the folks who are making inquiries, to access these resources online.”

The group applied for and received a local heritage grant to assist with the digitization of two now-defunct newspapers, The Carnavall Reporter and Duvall Citizen. When complete, the archives will be housed on a dedicated website where the pages are free to access and search from any device.

If your historical society wants to digitally preserve a local newspaper archive, contact ArchiveInABox for details on an easy and affordable way to preserve and access your community’s printed history for generations to come. ArchiveInABox includes many valuable features including no-cost hosting of your digital collections, and tools to engage your local donor community. Contact us soon to learn what we can do for your organization.

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Archiving academic newspaper archives.

ArchiveInABox is pleased to work with so many high school and universities to digitally preserve and provide access for their newspaper and yearbook archives.  These publications provide unique insight into the history of schools and universities and they are loved by alumni who like taking a nostalgic look back.

More and more universities and colleges are recognizing the resource they have in their publication archives and are now moving forward to digitally preserve them and, of course, make them online accessible and searchable for all to enjoy. Here’s a great example in this article about the University of Connecticut.

Contact ArchiveInABox to learn more about how we can help you preserve and open the door to the history in your archive material. Email us at or call (360) 427-6300.


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See you at the Texas Press Association MidWinter Conference

Texas newspapers interested in preserving and making their archives more accessible will be able to learn more about ArchiveInABox and how it can help during the Texas Press Association MidWinter Conference and Trade Show in Frisco this month.  Our team will be on hand to give newspapers a demo of a new product helping papers easily consolidate their archive content and use the archive to generate a new revenue stream. Stop by Booth 44 at the conference and speak with us about how you can get started today or give us a call in our Washington state office (360) 427-6300.

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How to consolidate all of your archive content.

SmallTownPapers’ flagship service platform, ArchiveInABox, now allows you to consolidate all archive content in one place where it’s easily managed and searched. With ArchiveInABox, you receive a dedicated webpage and management interface to archive all articles, print and online, and you can upload your weekly PDF print editions. All uploaded content is indexed for search within the platform and external search engines.

The result is an archive readers will enjoy and one that can generate money for your newspaper.  You will:

>Engage readers with easy, searchable online access to your complete newspaper archive.
>Generate revenue by placing local ads on your archive web page.
>Access to revenue options such as giving premium content providers access to articles for which you receive royalty payments.

Publisher use of the platform is free and, when ready, you can digitize bound volume and microfilm archives which are also hosted on the platform. Contact us today to get started. Email or call (360) 427-6300.

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A one-stop for digitally preserving archives.

At ArchiveInABox, we specialize in digitizing bound volume and loose printed archives but our services go far beyond that. We also have products for easy digitization of microfilm and we now have a program in place to help newspaper publishers include their born digital digital content (news articles and updates that appear only on their website) in their official newspaper archive. We work with newspapers, historical societies, alumni organizations, academic institutions and more.

ArchiveInABox makes it easy providing a logistics, scanning, return of original content and uploading – it’s literally a one stop shop for those wanting to digitally preserve and protect archive material. Your archive receives it’s own unique URL for easy online access or it can be included in the Discover America’s Story online archive collection.  Contact us to learn more about how you can preserve your archives today and make them online accessible and searchable for everyone to enjoy.

Email to get started or see a sample online archive collection.

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Archives as a revenue generator for newspapers.

People have long tried to find the best way to monetize archive content.  You have a wealth of information in your historic newspaper archives – information that is increasingly in demand – but how do you actually generate profit from that content?

ArchiveInABox helps newspapers digitize their archives and place them online where they can be searched and explored by everyone.  We keep it easy for the newspaper – we arrange shipping, scanning, uploading and then the return of the original archive material to its owner. Publishers using ArchiveInABox now have the option of selling advertising on their archive web pages and all of the money generated is theirs to keep.  It’s been extremely successful for newspapers and they report that the advertisers are excited to be a part of making their community history accessible – usually for the first time.

Want to learn how you can do the same? Contact us and we’ll show you how newspapers have found a new source of revenue in their old content.  Email karen or call us at 360.427.6300.

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When is the right time to digitize your archives?

The short answer is — right now!  Your print archives are not going to stay in their current condition or improve.  You want to digitally preserve them as soon as possible.  Similarly, microfilm, not stored properly, can also deteriorate.  Digitally preserving your archive material means that the history it holds, will not be forever lost.

ArchiveInABox works with thousands of organizations across the country to scan archives and make them online accessible and searchable.  The demand for archive content has never been higher – people expect all of the history and information from their community to be conveniently accessible. Digitization makes that possible and ArchiveInABox even offers hosting so that all you have to do, is say “ready” and then we take care of the rest –arranging logistics, safe/secure shipping, scanning and uploading to your own archive webpage and, of course, returning the original material to you.

At ArchiveInABox, we work with you to digitize material on your schedule and ensure that you retain rights, ownership and control of that historic content.  Contact us to learn more – email or call 360.427.6300.


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Digitizing microfilm vs. bound volumes.

We recently received an inquiry from a newspaper that has its archive in both microfilm and bound volumes. The publisher wanted to know which he should send us for scanning in order to finally create a searchable online archive his community can enjoy.

It’s a great question and the answer depends on the newspaper itself and what it hopes to achieve from scanning.  The end result is generally better when the original pages are scanned – if they’re in good shape, of course.  The image will be clearer and the OCR/searchability will be more accurate.

Scanning from microfilm has it’s advantages also – primarily lower cost and scanning and putting the archive online can take less time.  Many customers have an archive which is mixed – some microfilm and some original pages – which is easy for us to accommodate.

Regardless of whether your scanning from microfilm, bound volumes or loose printed pages, with ArchiveInABox you receive the image files and you maintain ownership and control of your new digital archive.  There’s no contract required so you can try it out with a single shipment.  We provide all logistics for you so just contact us to get started. Email for more details.

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Helping You Digitize Your Microfilm

ArchiveInABox may specialize in digitizing bound volume and loose printed archives but we also do our share of digitizing microfilm for our customers.  Many organizations simply don’t have the original archive material or, in some cases, it’s just too fragile to even move.

We have two options for digitizing microfilm archives and making them online accessible and searchable.

  1. Pay once, free hosting, no ongoing expense – ArchiveInABox.
    This is the service we provide when we scan a publication archive which is in bound volumes. Everything is indexed by year, publication date, page number, and OCR searchable text. All-inclusive of shipping, hosting and you get the master scans on your own hard drive.
  2. Low-cost scanning and annual hosting – ImageHOST.
    This is a service we provide for very large jobs where the cost per page is critical. Very low scan cost, pay for low cost hosting. Index is OCR only. Generally need to scan 50,000 pages or more, so it may work for 44k pages on microfilm. There is a low cost annual, per page hosting fee and additional costs such as shipping and master scans.

We can walk you through the process and explain how the two options differ.  Just let us know if you’d like to explore digitizing your microfilm archives and placing them online where they can be searched and enjoyed.  Email for details.

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Seeking grants for archive digitization.

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 ( for a quote or to get started.

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