The Process From Paper to Webpage

The Digitization Process

The Northern New York Library Network administers the NYSHistoricNewspapers.org site on behalf of the NY 3Rs Association, Inc. The Network also operates a Digitization Center at its Potsdam NY headquarters.

Newspaper microfilm is treated in the following manner at the NNYLN Digitization Center:

  • Step 1: Microfilm is received at the NNYLN; each reel is inventoried and placed in the queue for treatment.
  • Step 2: Microfilm is scanned using a Merkel Mach IV automated scanner operated by a trained technician. During scanning, the technician continually checks for image quality, missing pages, missing issues, and misaligned images. Each image is scanned at 300 dpi, black and white, and saved as a TIFF file.
  • Step 3: Batched TIFF images are converted to PDF files and optical character recognition processes are applied using ABBY Fine Reader.
  • Step 4: Batched PDF files are renamed in the following format: YYYYMMDD – p#
  • Step 5: Renamed files are cataloged using the newspaper title’s LC number.
  • Step 6: All files affiliated with a newspaper title are reprocessed to create PNG and XML files. Files are checked for quality and completeness.
  • Step 7: Once a title is completely processed, it is uploaded to a UNIX based server located in Potsdam, NY. Each title is checked online for quality control and completeness.
  • Step 8: Microfilm and scanned files are returned to contributing organization.
  • New and Upcoming Newspapers

    The New and Upcoming Newspapers section of the front page displays newspapers that have been uploaded into the website or are in the final stages of the digitization process. Clicking the titles in that section will resolve to the title information page for that newspaper. A new feature has been introduced on the title pages, the ability to quickly search a specific title. By clicking on the Search This Title link on the upper right hand of the title information page the search interface will appear with the options pre-loaded for convenience.

    About NYS Historic Newspapers

    The NYS Historic Newspapers project provides free online access to a wide range of newspapers chosen to reflect New York's unique history. Those who would like to contribute to the project, either financially or by providing content, should contact info@nnyln.org for more information.