“I love being able to conduct research from my desktop. If someone asks for an obituary, I can quickly find the article, and send it via email. What used to be a lengthy process with microfilm is now a five-minute task using Digital ReeL.”

– Gina Nancy McMenemy-McColm | Reference Librarian


The Belmont Public Library serves the 25,000 citizens of Belmont, Massachusetts. The Library aims to provide a center for information and discovery through innovative programming, robust collections, and responsive services.

When grant money became available, the Belmont Public Library decided to fund a newspaper digitization project. The historical Belmont newspaper archive
consists of seven different titles dating back to 1889 that were archived on physical microfilm. The goal was to make the newspaper archives easily searchable and help preserve the information long into the future.

Peter Struzziero, Library Director, states “We went to bid for this project and found BMI at the ALA Conference. We selected Digital ReeL over the other
offerings because it offered a complete solution: the microfilm scanning at a secure facility, hosting of our records and a simple, elegant interface for online search and retrieval.”


  • Staff time spent assisting patrons with physical microfilm and reader printers
  • Deteriorating microfilm threatened the long-term viability of the newspaper archive
  • Inability to quickly search and find articles and photos across the entire newspaper archive


  • Microfilm scanning at BMI’s secure facility
  • Digitally converted records hosted at BMI’s data center, avoiding need for IT support
  • Web-based app that resembles a reader printer for easy access to digital newspaper archives


  • No IT staff requirements because the digital files and Digital ReeL app are accessible from the Web
  • Online access avoids requirement to work with physical microfilm
  • Image enhancement enables article and photo optimization