Seattle, WA – February 14, 2007 - Under a partnership between SmallTownPapers, Inc. and World Vital Records, Inc., one million exclusive newspaper pages from small towns across America are now available on the World Vital Records website. The newspapers, part of the SmallTownPapers collection, represent unique historical content which has never before been available on the Internet and is not available from any other source.
“While it’s easy to find old articles from larger, daily newspapers which are readily available online, it’s a challenge when you trace family roots to a small town because those newspapers weren't necessarily microfilmed or placed in the local library,” said Adam Deason, a genealogy buff in Murray, Utah with family roots in a small Alabama town. “Having the newspapers easily accessible and searchable on the World Vital Records website will dramatically enhance my ability to document family history.”
Today, one million pages from small market, weekly newspapers across the country dating back as far as the mid-1800s are accessible through World Vital Records with that number growing weekly. Just as Google, Microsoft and others are beginning to scan books; SmallTownPapers is digitizing the complete archive of more than 300 newspapers from small towns across America, including the current printed weekly editions.
“We selected World Vital Records to distribute our collection of small-town newspapers because of their commitment to the millions of people who want to research their family history,” said Paul Jeffko, president and founder of SmallTownPapers, Inc. “World Vital Records is delivering on their mission to help people discover their ancestors with an incredible collection of exclusive materials, including SmallTownPapers.”
America has seen a surge in the demand for online genealogy resources. Market Strategies, Inc. found in 2005 that 73% of Americans are interested in discovering their family history. Last year, Pew Internet and American Life Project found that over 35 million Americans are interested in online genealogy research.
“SmallTownPapers is filling family historians’ needs for historical as well as vital record data from newspapers that otherwise might never be accessed,” said Leland K. Meitzler, genealogist and Managing Editor of Everton’s Genealogical Helper. “I did search my own name and was amazed to discover an item from an early 1970s Eatonville (Washington) Dispatch, complete with a picture, about a nursery business I operated when I was a kid. I had no idea the article was ever run. All of us have family members in small towns of America. This resource is amazing and shouldn’t be overlooked when searching your family history.”
SmallTownPapers works with hundreds of small market newspaper publishers to create this unique, searchable database rich in historical information needed by genealogists including births, marriages, obituaries and articles about family members. To date, the company has scanned more than two million of its more than 20 million page archive, which will be available online as the digital images are created. For more information visit www.smalltownpapers.com.