“In the past, our newspaper microfilm archive was only available at our physical location. Since January (2016), we’ve averaged 45,000+ image requests per month and users are from all over the world.”

– Anthony Halstead | Assistant Director of Library Services & Community Outreach


Napa County Library’s mission is to enrich peoples’ lives with books and information. The County serves a population of 135,000 and offers four libraries that provide public computers, printing, wireless internet access, entertainment and informational programs, and a wide assortment of other materials tailored to community interests.

The Napa Valley County Library provides newspaper archives for the Napa Valley Register and the Weekly Calistogan. In the past, the County received print copies of the newspapers, microfilmed the copies, and then offered a microfilm archive to patrons for newspaper research.

The library staff hand-indexed the papers and would leverage a card catalog for search and retrieval. Over time, this became burdensome and, combined with the hassles common with microfilm, led the County to search for a digital solution.

After issuing a Request for Proposal, the Library selected Digital ReeL because of the range of benefits it would provide and its competitive price. The Digital ReeL platform hosts the Library’s digital newspaper records at BMI’s datacenter and offers a custom, Napa-branded online portal for patrons searching the newspaper archives.


  • Staff did not have the time to index the newspapers
  • Difficult for patrons to find articles on microfilm unless you were familiar with the archive
  • Newspapers on microfilm limited patron access to the physical building


  • 1,200 microfilm rolls digitally scanned at BMI’s Sunnyvale conversion facility
  • Digital microfilm rolls hosted at BMI’s synced data centers
  • A custom Digital ReeL web portal was created to match Napa County Library’s web-site


  • Custom online portal that is consistent with Napa County web-site
  • Users from all over the world access digital newspaper articles and photos from the web
  • 45,000+ image requests per month from users all over the world