Exploring the Benefits of Digitizing Historical Newspapers

Digitizing Historical Newspapers for Modern Generation Research

Digitizing Historical Newspapers is our primary focus today, particularly given their rich content, which includes historical news, family histories, crime investigations, entertainment, marriage and birth announcements, social cases, and a variety of articles covering national and local news, sports, advertisements, fashion, lifestyle, comics, and more. These newspapers offer not only what you’d expect but also perhaps elements you didn’t anticipate.

Newspapers are a key source of information for all disciplines dealing with historical matters. They supply important insights of an era. As a legal deposit, libraries, for sure they possesses a large number of newspaper repositories; probably thousands of newspaper titles, both local, national and possible international.

The New Generation Demand

Firstly, as we explore beyond the importance of preserving historical newspapers, it’s crucial to understand the evolving digitization demands that allows large audience of clientele the chance to conduct intensive researches digitally and remotely.

The Baby Boomer and Generation X appreciated traditional libraries, whereas Millennials and Generation Z seek digital access via smartphones and laptops.

Libraries and archive centers must adapt to this change request by converting newspapers archives to digital format and host them for larger audience that are searching for the knowledge.

Here where ABTec Solutions necessary hardware and software solutions comes handy. For every type of material discussed, above, we have the correct hardware and software to handle the digitization. To complement that, we offer as well Multi-Lingual Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Digital Library Solution to host and present all types of digital objects under a single platform.

WideTEK Scanner

Old Newspaper scanned on WideTEK Wide-Format Scanner

Converting Physical Newspapers

Next, the process of converting physical newspapers into digital formats can vary. Depending on their condition, different types of scanners might be needed:

• Loose Newspapers:

Firstly, for loose newspapers, we offer WideTEK wide format scanners from Image Access are ideal. These scanners are known for their speed and productivity, making them perfect for newspaper digitization.

• Bonded Newspapers:

For bonded newspapers, we offers Bookeye scanners from Image Access. These are suited for glued newspapers in “book” format, ensuring high-quality scans without damaging the bindings.

• Newspaper Clips

Moreover, for individual newspaper clips, we provide the WideTEK A3 & A2 color flatbed scanners. These scanners are designed for fast, high-resolution scans, accommodating various application requirements. Multiple clips can be placed in a single scan and the built-in software will crop every clip in a separate image.

• Microfilmed Newspapers

Microfilmed newspapers also pose no challenge. ABTec Solutions can recommend multiple options depending on the microfilm type, ensuring a smooth conversion to digital.

Multi-Lingual Text Recognition

After scanning, the Scan2OCR software transforms newspapers into searchable PDF files. Supporting over 100 languages, this feature enhances the research capabilities by enabling full-text searches. This full-text recognition function enables researchers to pursue innovative, data-driven questions based on the contents of the newspaper, not just the titles.

Presentation Platform

Newspaper search results in MediaINFO

Search Results within MediaINFO by selecting Newspapers category

To present these digital collections, ABTec Solutions offers MediaINFO, a comprehensive Digital Library Management System. This cloud-based platform is ideal for all digital assets, providing an impressive, full-resolution viewing experience and ensure easy scalability, access and management.

A Digital Library that is designed for all types of content such as newspapers, photos, maps, documents, books, audio, videos, and much more allowing users to viewing, browsing, searching, cataloging and sharing digitized content and helps organizations utilize and re-use their content more effectively by leveraging past investments in content and re-purposing them for new audiences and markets.

Search in Digital Newspaper

Search Results in MediaINFO, back Image showing results with timeline and front with Marked Text, translated to French

Top Tips for Digitizing Historical Newspapers
  1. When digitizing historical Newspapers, consider the type and format of digital outputs based on the viewing platform. Image Access scanners produce a variety of file formats, catering to different needs;
  2. Assess in-house capabilities versus outsourcing needs, especially for larger projects;
  3. Additionally, consider scanning from microfilm for faster processing. On the flip side, scanning from originals may produce better digital images;
  4. And always consider running a pilot project prior to making any final decisions for better evaluation and to ensure smooth operation.


In conclusion, the Digitizing Historical Newspapers is a significant step towards preserving and making history accessible for modern researchers. With solutions offered by ABTec Solutions, libraries and institutions can effectively transit to digital platforms, ensuring that these valuable resources continue to enlighten and educate future generations.


Contact ABTec Solutions today on Toll Free (800) 775.8993 or reach out and fill the form and we will contact you as soon as possible.