How Tom Tryniski digitized nearly 50 million pages of newspapers in his living room

Alexandria Neason:

There are few newspapers left in his community; the Fulton Patriot closed in 2010, and The (Oswego County) Valley News, is printed just twice weekly. And yet Tryniski’s living room is drowning in newsprint, home to millions of pages of newspapers from all over New York, and the country, and Canada, stretching back to the 19th century. Every day, he sits in front of his surveillance-style monitors, shoulders hunched forward, face burrowed into the blue glow of the screen, scanning newspapers from microfilm into his massive online repository, Ten computers stacked on a black cart behind him hum and click, and just outside the sliding doors that open into the apartment, perched on a corner of the deck like a watchtower, is a small gazebo he built himself. Inside are his servers and three more computer monitors, which he uses to monitor Web traffic. A scanner detailing the movements of the local police buzzes in the background, and a light mist blows from the lid of a diffuser, filling the room with the scent of cinnamon. On a brisk day this past fall, Tryniski was working on issues of the now-defunct Canajoharie Courier from between 1912 and 1914 (the last issue went to press in Upstate New York in 1943).