Original Article About Tom Tryniski was written by Jim Epstein at Reason.com
If you have ever searched through newspaper archives you know just how tedious, time-consuming, sometimes costly, and most importantly, how iffy a find can be. But back in March 2013, Jim Epstein at Reason.com, profiled Tom Tryniski, an eccentric retiree who digitized about 27 million newspaper pages (1795 through 2007). He worked alone in his living room for 14 years and then made them available for free for anyone to search. “A lot can be said about one computer expert (a high school graduate) who built a historic newspaper site (http://fultonhistory.com) that’s orders of magnitude bigger and more popular than one created by a federal bureaucracy with millions of dollars to spend. Armed only with a few PCs and a cheap microfilm scanner, Tom Tryniski has played David to the Library of Congress’ Goliath,” according to Mr. Epstein.
Tryniski’s site 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 only about 5 million newspaper pages on its site and cost taxpayers about $3 per page.
Today’s site has 28,300,000 Historical Newspaper Pages from the USA and Canada
According to Tryniski’s site today, you can search over 28,300,000 Historical Newspaper Pages from the USA & Canada. So, I thought I would give it a try. I literally searched Tryniski’s site using the following text in the keyword box “Civil War in Spotsylvania County, Virginia,” and asked the browser to search for all the words–not an easy search task in my opinion. Almost instantly 299 weighted and scrollable entries appeared. The articles dated from 1864 to 1977. Many of them were from publishers in cities of New York, but also a few from Philadelphia and Chicago. And there were excerpts from the documents included. I was more than pleased–I was delighted! I will certainly be using this site again in my genealogical searches. Please give it a try to let me know what you think.
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