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.
Fultonhistory.com really got going in 2003, when Tryniski bought a scanner that handles microfilm for $3,500 in a fire sale. That meant he didn't need access to the original newspaper copies and he could work quickly because microfilm scanners are largely automated. Tryniski pays all expenses for the site himself. The only significant costs are bandwidth, for which he pays $630 per month, and hard drives, which run him about $200 per month. His primary server is located outdoors in a gazebo on his deck. Everything on his web site is available free of charge.
Tryniski is adding new content at a rate of about a quarter-million pages per month with no plans to slow down.
You can access Tom Tryniski's web site at http://fultonhistory.com/.
You can read more in an article by Jim Epstein at http://goo.gl/7k6Ml. You can also watch a video describing Tom Tryniski's efforts at http://youtu.be/KVWDX6oaYCg or click on the video viewer below.