Often, newspaper publishers are so eager to digitize their archives and so resource limited that they will turn the archives over to a university, library or other organization to scan without thinking through what that might cost them. In some cases, the organization will scan in exchange for some ownership or distribution rights. The publisher realizes this after the scanning is already underway and it’s too late.
We encourage publishers to read the fine print and make sure they retain 100% ownership and control of the archive. Why is that important?
The newspaper documented a community’s history and that is in huge demand — and its becoming increasingly easy to monetize the archives. Publishers will want to ensure they have all rights to make money off of their historic record in the future. Yes, they can share a copy of their digital archive with whoever they want but it should be on the publisher’s terms. So, how do they get it digitized affordably?
Discover America’s Story is a program helping newspapers do just that. They show publishers how to secure community sponsors for the archive preservation project and the revenue generated pays for the actual scanning. They have a proven method for getting community sponsors and there’s no cost for that to the publisher – in fact, they provide support at no charge. All they are paid for is the actual scanning which is completed at a pace set by the publisher…. generally, over a period of time.
One Oklahoma publisher used the program to get money to pay for digitization which he completed well ahead of his anticipated schedule. He then decided to keep the program going and has a new revenue stream that is still flowing today.
Contact Discover America’s Story to get started digitizing your archive – try it with a decades worth of archive material. You’ll be surprised.