It’s a Small World

By Diane Haddad Premium

Newspaper research for non-urban-dwelling ancestors often means visiting a far-off library and scrolling through microfilm. Seattle-based SmallTownPapers is changing that. The company, which digitizes historical and current editions of small newspapers, has partnered with database site World Vital Records to post more than 160 newspapers online for free.

You’ll find a list of available newspapers at <>. More than 1 million pages dating as far back as the 1800s are online now; more are added each month.

The SmallTownPapers database is just one of the recent changes to World Vital Records, which Paul Allen – cofounder of (now the Generations Nework) – launched in late 2006. The site has revamped its home page to include an automatically updated list of new databases, as well as tabs for online genealogy training (in the form of live chat sessions) and membership benefits. In the works: a “wiki-type” project-unabashedly billed as “the greatest family history tool ever.”

From the July 2007 issue of Family Tree Magazine.