The world is digitizing its records. The 2020’s global lockdown has only accelerated this trend, with workplaces realizing that the ability to physically access records is not a given. As we move through and out of lockdown, the drive to convert hard-copy records to online versions — where staff can easily access, search, and analyze the data — is picking up steam.

Paper to pixels

Many workplaces, especially in heavily regulated industries — government, energy/utilities, accounting, law — keep their records for years. Currently, much of that is in paper form, with documents piling up over decades in cabinets, rooms, entire floors. Companies…

Coronavirus has cut a large and uneven swathe through the world’s businesses. While some fields — hospitality, transportation, restaurants — have been crushed, other fields — grocery delivery, e-commerce — have been crushed in a very different way: with too much demand from sheltering consumers. This is the story of how Tolstoy, a NLP company based in San Francisco, helped an online garden retailer handle a massive inflow of customer emails as they waged their way through the pandemic.

Pandemic-level demand

While some businesses have seen their demand dry up overnight, other businesses have experienced record inflow. One of the activities consumers…

A venerable financial newspaper wanted to do something special for their 130th Anniversary: create a special edition, digitized broadsheet of stories from their entire history. While their archives had been well preserved and imaged, extracting the text from old — in some cases century-old — pages proved tricky. The newspaper approached Tolstoy, a NLP startup based in San Francisco, to help them extract the text accurately — and on deadline for their 130th anniversary.

This article covers how we used the latest techniques in image processing and optical character recognition to digitize and extract the text from the newspaper broadsheets.

We help people process very large amounts of text using the latest NLP technology. Check us out at

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