This article in the Iowa City Press Citizen shares the story of a consortium formed by eight non-profit organizations and their mission to preserve and provide access to local Iowa history.  

Advantage Preservation provides preservation services and tools to help make history accessible. Advantage Preservation is a division of The Advantage Companies. The Advantage Companies is an Iowa based business, run by Iowans, and with Iowan employees. When it comes to Iowa history, “what we do” and “who we are” make things much more personal.

Advantage Preservation was honored to partner with these organizations and share in their mission.

The group met several times over the course of the year and formed a plan with a representative of the Advantage Company of Cedar Rapids, Jeffrey Brown. The plan was to digitize the newspapers and various documents, so the public could use a web-based system to access this information. In this manner, the rapidly outdated and expensive microfilm equipment could be replaced with a more efficient and user friendly system.

Each member organization understood the necessity of microfilm in their long-term preservation strategies, but also recognized the value of providing access to that history in a meaningful way.

Some of the newspapers that are included are the North English Record, the Marengo Democrat and Republican, the Victor Record, the Ladora Times, the Pioneer Republican and the Williamsburg Journal-Tribune. The vast majority of the digitalizing process of the newspapers is completed. The group will be applying for additional funding to continue this work and to fill in years that are currently still to be digitalized.