Back to Articles

Announcing Pigeon Archive - Newspaper Archival and Paywall Service

A couple years ago we were approached by Russ Rhoden, of the Tattnall Journal (GA). His passion was to preserve print history and make it searchable. The challenge? Making it feasible for as many as possible. We were already setting up subscription management and paywall services for online newspapers and digital media sites via our Pigeon Paywall product. The missing piece was how to view and search the archives. Fortunately, we had many years of search engine, interface, and cataloging experience in the ecommerce world. We brought all this experience together and began working on an interface that would make browsing and searching print archives online clean and easy to use.

We are happy to announce Pigeon Archive ( The mission of Pigeon Archive is to preserve your paper's history and make it available online while giving you the tools necessary to monetize your archive's public access. A perfect merger of print history and the digital future.

We did a soft launch with the Tattnall Journal's paper ( They put together a video screencast for their users, "An Introduction to Digital Archives for the Tattnall Journal".

People were able to search the Journal's newspaper back to the late 1800's. One lady was able to find information about a deceased relative that she never knew. It was exciting to hear reports of people being able to search local history like never before.

Here is a quick Q and A on the Pigeon Archive service and how it can work for your media organziation.

How does paper archiving work with Pigeon Archive?

With highly sofisticated scanners we can scan your microfilm or the physical paper. The software digitally converts the text so the archive can be searchable. Then the digital archive is pushed online, optimized, and indexed. You can see a demo of the end-result here.

Who owns the digital version of the archive?

You do. Our goal is to simply provide the platform for access. You decide what level of access you want to allow for the public. Our contract with you clearly states that your content is 100% yours.

What kind of archive access options can I offer the public? Can I charge for access?

You can choose to make it completely open, or you can restrict access to registration-required, or paid plans like temporary passes and recurring subscriptions. Pigeon Archive gives you full access to our Pigeon Paywall and Subscription management platform. This allows you to do more than just monetize your archive, you can also add a plugin to your website to provide paid content scenarios for your site like premium sections, metered access, and more.

Can I use Pigeon Archive as my newspaper's e-Edition?

Absolutely! We didn't originally plan the software for e-Edition, but people wanted to keep pushing their current editions up too. So we updated the importer to allow processing for modern PDF exports from your publishing software.

I don't have a newspaper or magazine, but I have a lot of documents that I would like to digitize and make searchable. Can Pigeon Archive help?

Yes we can. Many organizations have a long paper trail that needs to be preserved like lawyers, county offices, doctor's offices, etc. We can setup a method of cataloging unique to your needs. Contact us here to setup a time to discuss your project further.

How much does digital archiving cost with Pigeon Archive? Will it break the bank?

We have worked hard to stream-line the process to make this as affordable as possible. Obviously, the scanning process can be quite involved. But since the first soft-launch this year, we have already been able to reduce setup fees and rates. There is an investment, but smaller weekly papers are signing up with Pigeon Archive, when they couldn't afford to do so before via other archiving companies. There is a quoting process, but we publish as much as we can about our setup fees and rates on

We look forward to helping you preserve your paper's history. You can learn more about the Pigeon Archive service at

Nick Johnson, CEO & Founder of Sabramedia. At the age of 8 he made his first $100 selling worms to fishermen. Business and commerce development is a way of life. He wrote his first program in BASIC on a Commodore 64 at the age of 10. He is the brainchild of Pigeon Paywall, a SaaS system that helps content creators grow their business in the digital space.

He has been talking with newspaper and digital media professionals around the world since 2009. Nick provides a knowledgeable perspective on web related topics for the newspaper and media industry. Sabramedia makes the Pigeon Paywall Platform and Pigeon Archive service.