Community Newspapers and Photo Collections Find New Life On the Web

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Archive Works, a new product from Athenaeum OL, offers an affordable, easy and user friendly service to store and search historical newspaper and photograph collections online, helping libraries and museums unlock the past.

Athenaeum OL (On Line) Archive Works is an online repository for static archives. Museums and libraries are target users for the service but any organization with microfilm, newspaper or photo collections will find major benefits in the new service.

Archive Works allows patrons to search through years of newspaper, stacks of photographs or volumes of microfilm over the web using key words. Taking advantage of the speed of web searching and the accessibility of the web, patrons and test users have found the service to be fast, efficient and simple to use.

Key features of the service include a customizable user interface, owner defined search indexes, super fast search capabilities, and an affordable pricing structure compared to similar services. The customizable interface allows an organization to create an interface that blends with their existing website, using their fonts, colors and logos.

As more and more information is handled electronically moving volumes of static information to the web just makes sense. Creators of the service, Andrew Powell of 2G Tech (, a software development firm in Grand Rapids, and Garry Olson of Lakeshore Document Services (, a document management company in Norton Shores, saw a need in the market place and created the solution.

“We spoke with a lot of library and museum personnel who wanted a better solution at a better price. I presented the idea to Andrew and he ran with it,” said Garry Olson. “So far we’ve gotten really good feedback from users. We think we’ve hit the mark with this product.”

And they have. The service has been set up for a southwest Michigan library and the patrons testing the service have commented on the fast search speeds and the ease of the interface. Even stating in written surveys that the system exceeds their expectations and offers improvement over similar services.

Traditionally newspaper collections have been converted to microfilm. We’ve all used the large clunky viewing machines for microfiche and microfilm. Finding specific information in this scenario can be time consuming and cumbersome.

Other collections, such as photographs, age and degrade over time. Handling delicate and aging documents, photos or newspapers can be damaging. Finding that one specific photo can take hours of sorting through hundreds of photos. By using the web to search and access the content, collections suddenly open up and become relevant.

Try Before You Buy
The company has set up a “Conversion Kit Demo” for organizations to try the service with their own data for a limited time to determine if the service meets their needs. The conversion kit includes postage paid packaging to send your digital, film or hard copy items. Lakeshore Document Services provides the scanning service. The digitized information is loaded into the system and the organization is given access to a demonstration site. An Athenaeum representative provides a short demonstration using a web meeting service and the prospect is left to try the service, on his/her own. To order a conversion kit visit:

Other Key Features
The interface is a simple search screen, intuitive and easy for any level of computer user. Clients can customize the screen with colors, logos and search criteria. Advanced Boolean search functions help more sophisticated users narrow search results. Photographs are indexed by owner-defined keywords and descriptions. The service also offers a content management option to add new content and manage keywords and indexes.

For more information about Athenaeum OL Archive Works email or visit the web at To order a conversion kit visit

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Garry Olson
Athenaeum/Lakeshore Document Services
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