Anyone who has looked at Tom Tryniski’s web site at FultonHistory.com probably has been impressed by the site’s collection of 27 million historic newspaper pages available to everyone, free of charge. However, when you will become impressed much more when you compare what he accomplishes against the results of other newspaper sites.
According to an article by Jim Epstein (at http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/03/05/amateur-beats-gov-at-digitizing-newspape):
In 2003, the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) spent $400,000 digitizing the first 62 years of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, which was among the most widely read and influential papers in 19th century America. A decade later, the library was still raising money to finish the remaining 52 years of the Daily Eagle’s run.
The Library of Congress’ historic newspaper site, Chronicling America, has 5 million newspaper pages on its site while costing taxpayers $15 million (about $3 per page).
The biggest digital newspaper site on the Internet is the for-profit Newspaperarchive.com, with 130 million pages. Newspapers.com, a subsidiary of Ancestry.com, has 34 million newspaper pages. The expenses of those two sites are not easily available.
In the meantime, Tom Tryniski, armed only with a few PCs and a cheap microfilm scanner, digitized 27 million historic newspaper pages while working alone.
Most of the papers Tryniski has digitized are from New York, but he’s rapidly expanding his coverage to other states as well. He is adding new content at a rate of about a quarter-million pages per month with no plans to slow down.
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. Of course, his labor is free. In return, Tryniski makes the results of his hard work available to everyone online, free of charge. Tryniski keeps his server in a gazebo on his front deck.