Amateur historian surpasses gov't in digitization efforts [VIDEO]

tags: Amateur historians, government, digitization



One computer expert working alone has built a historic newspaper site that's orders of magnitude bigger and more popular than one created by a federal bureaucracy with millions of dollars to spend. Armed only with a few PCs and a cheap microfilm scanner, Tom Tryniski has played David to the Library of Congress’ Goliath.

Tryniski's site, which he created in his living room in upstate New York, has grown into one of the largest historic newspaper databases in the world, with 22 million newspaper pages. By contrast, the Library of Congress' historic newspaper site, Chronicling America, has 5 million newspaper pages on its site while costing taxpayers about $3 per page.[*] In January, visitors to Fultonhistory.com accessed just over 6 million pages while Chronicling America pulled fewer than 3 million views.

Fourteen years ago, Tryniski, a retired engineer, launched his website after a friend loaned him a collection of old postcards of Fulton, New York, the town where he's lived all his life. He decided to scan and share them online with his neighbors....



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