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 karen@smalltownpapers.com to get started or see a sample online archive collection.

Posted in General News | Tagged , | Comments Off on A one-stop for digitally preserving archives.

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 @smalltownpapers.com or call us at 360.427.6300.

Posted in General News | Tagged | Comments Off on Archives as a revenue generator for newspapers.

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 karen@smalltownpapers.com or call 360.427.6300.


Posted in General News | Tagged , , | Comments Off on When is the right time to digitize your archives?

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 karen@smalltownpapers.com for more details.

Posted in General News | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Digitizing microfilm vs. bound volumes.

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 karen@smalltownpapers.com for details.

Posted in General News | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Helping You Digitize Your Microfilm

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 (karen@smalltownpapers.com) for a quote or to get started.

Posted in General News | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Seeking grants for archive digitization.

A Community Helps Digitally Preserve its Newspaper’s Archive


The Jewish News of Tidewater has been covering events and providing perspective for the southern Virginia Jewish community since 1947 – the year before Israel was declared a state. The newspaper’s bound volume archive was filled with history but the books were under threat. The paper’s long time book reviewer Hal Sacks was devastated to discover that people had ripped pages out of the volumes. Editor Terri Denison decided to keep the books locked away to protect them but that also meant no one could access them.

Hal couldn’t let it go. The bound volumes had to be digitized to preserve the content and make them accessible and searchable for the community. But how would they afford it?
A former sailor in the Navy, Hal set out in 2013 to come up with a solution and he didn’t have to look far. Thanks to Hal’s Navy and a community eager to have history at its fingertips, today the archive is scanned and available to everyone online. The success surprised everyone including Hal, “What surprised me most of all is that I got thousand dollar checks from people we hadn’t heard from in ten years.”

>>Click here to learn how the newspaper was able to complete the digital preservation and scanning of its historic archive.

Posted in General News | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on A Community Helps Digitally Preserve its Newspaper’s Archive

How Arkansas Catholic Found Money to Digitize Its Complete Archive


It’s the story no newspaper wants to write.

Publishers never want to have to inform readers that the newspaper’s archive is gone. It could have been the story for the Arkansas Catholic newspaper and its 91 year old bound volume archive. Rich with history and perspective, the newpaper’s archives were deteriorating and some of the oldest books were literally too fragile to touch. Editor Malea Hargett recalls, “Everytime we had to do a historical article, we had to go into those archives and it was very evident we were losing those pages.”

Fearing the history would soon be lost forever, Malea approached her publisher with a plea to digitally preserve the archive content before it was too late but was told the money simply wasn’t available. So, she came up with another way to save the archive. Today, just 5 years later, the complete archive is online accessible for the community to search and explore.

So, how’d she do it? With the help of guardian angels.  >>Click here to learn how Arkansas Catholic was able to complete the digital preservation of their entire archive.


Posted in General News | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on How Arkansas Catholic Found Money to Digitize Its Complete Archive

Editor & Publisher Article on Our Archive Scanning Services

E&PEditor & Publisher did a great job telling readers about Discover America’s Story which helps publishers monetize their archives.  The article in the April issue of Editor & Publisher explains how publishers can sell sponsorships to generate a revenue stream that can then be used to pay to have the archive scanned and hosted online.

“In the past, since there was no commercial value to their bound volume archives, many publishers turned to local libraries and historical societies to maintain these community records. Often, the archives were maintained or stored but remained difficult if not impossible to access and search,” said Paul Jeffko, SmallTownPapers president and founder. “Now with new technologies, we can make them accessible and use them for commercial purposes.”

>>Click here to read the full article written by Adreana Young.


Posted in General News | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Editor & Publisher Article on Our Archive Scanning Services

Community Donations Flow to Digitize Historical Newspaper Issues

(Repost – originally published June 11, 2014 – the digitization of The Jewish News is nearly complete thanks to their highly successful communitiy campaign.)

Jewish community rallies financial support to digitize the Jewish News’ 68 years of archives.

“What surprised me most of all is that when I announced the project, I got thousand dollar checks from people we hadn’t heard from in ten years.”
Hal Sacks, Author

Author Harold H. “Hal” Sacks has been writing book reviews for his local Jewish community newspaper, the Jewish News in Virginia Beach, Virginia for more than 30 years. Through his work and time in the newspaper office, he had numerous occasions to handle the newspaper’s bound volume archives dating back to 1946. 

It was while browsing through those archives that the retired Navy commander had the inspiration for a new mission. “People would go in there and just tear out a page,” he explained sadly. “It was like tearing out my arm… like going into a library and defacing a book.” 

The heartache of seeing where pages had been ripped from the archive made it clear the printed issues had to be preserved, and soon. Hal enlisted his granddaughter to begin organizing the material for scanning but he says the project lost momentum. Shortly thereafter, when he started looking for copies of the nearly 500 book reviews he had written for the newspaper, the effort was re-energized. The only option was an employee manually scanning each of the reviews and emailing it to him. 

The idea for a professionally-managed archive digitization project was born – one which would scan the pages intact, return the original bound volumes safely to the newspaper and make the digital archive online-accessible and searchable to anyone with Internet access. 

Shayna Horwitz, who is managing the project for the Jewish News, contacted SmallTownPapers, Inc. to see what would be involved in digitally scanning the printed archives which had been bound into hard cover editions. One bound volume was scanned by the company and presented to the newspaper and, of course, Hal. 

“I said wow, that’s fantastic! I really didn’t expect anything so legible and so useable,” Hal said, recalling his first encounter with their digitized archives online. 

After selecting SmallTownPaper’s ArchiveInABox digitization service, the newspaper’s management was anxious to get started. “There were two reasons we wanted to move quickly,” reflects Horwitz. “First, everyone loved the final result and second, completing it in one year gave us a discount on the price.” 

However, the funds for the project simply were not available. 

Eager to see the online archive come to fruition, Hal, a long time and active member of the Tidewater Jewish community, decided that proceeds from his memoir, Hal’s Navy, published in late 2013, would go toward the Jewish News Archive project. A fundraising campaign kicked off in November 2013 and Hal issued an additional community appeal in the newspaper in March 2014. The community rallied raising more than $30K for the project. 

“What surprised me most of all is that when I announced the project, I got thousand dollar checks from people we hadn’t heard from in ten years. For people my age, the only real link to the community is the newspaper.” 

The Jewish News bound volumes are in the process of being digitized and even those working on the project are learning more about the community in which they live. 

“I’ve discovered so much about the history, to see the articles about how much people did for the community and Israel was empowering and gave me a sense of pride. I see endless opportunities this resource will present for our future,” notes Horwitz. 

Hal sees another project on the horizon. “I’m hoping when this archive is available to the public that other organizations in town will want to do the same thing. Synagogues have all kinds of stuff, some more than 100 years old. I’ll help raise the money to make it happen.” 

Visit the Jewish News online archive: http://jnt.stparchive.com/.  Want to learn more about how ArchiveInABox can help your community preserve its written history, contact us at 360.427.6300 or email Paul Jeffko at paulj@smalltownpapers.com. 

Posted in General News | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Community Donations Flow to Digitize Historical Newspaper Issues