A True Partner For Libraries & Historical Societies

Are You Exploring Options To Make Your Records More Accessible? Contact Us Today. We Want Help You Find A Solution!

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Libraries & Historical Societies

We are not just a “microfilm provider”…we are a partner
The Advantage Preservation team has been partnering with Libraries, Colleges, and Historical Societies to preserve their local history one community at a time. We take great pride in our work to preserve the past, make it accessible in the present, and ensure its future…..and it all starts with converting local historical newspapers and other documents onto 35mm Silver Halide Microfilm, It is critical to protect the valuable printed content, from the ravages of time. Our internal microfilm standards exceed ANSI/AIIM standards for microfilm preservation.

Through a collaborative approach, we will partner with your institution, your local publisher, and other like minded individuals in your community, to ensure that the “first rough draft of history” is both archived AND accessible, with our microfilm and digital offerings.

Although newspaper preservation and digitization is our specialty, we have equal passion for all historic documents. We specialize in preservation microfilming and digital access solutions for:

Original Paper Documents
Scrapbooks, Diaries, & Journals
Record Books
Family History Materials

Birth, Marriage, & Death Records
Yearbooks & School Newspapers
Census Records
Newspaper Clippings
Newsletters, Bulletins, etc.

Books Of All Sizes
Annuals & Programs
Muster Rolls & Military Records
Photos & 35MM Slides

Choosing A New Microfilming Partner

We have had many recent conversations with librarians, newspaper publishers and state entities who are deeply concerned with their current microfilm preservation companies. Several institutions have also been subject to an interruption in service when a large national microfilm provider recently ceased operations. Needless to say, there are many individuals just like you, searching for websites just like this, trying to figure out what their options are.

There is understandable stress when selecting a new vendor. Consideration must be given to preservation budgets, about providing good and current resources to your patrons, and ultimately about the preservation of your community’s history. Here are four questions that you should consider asking of a potential preservation vendor (and from your newspaper’s publisher, as they ultimately choose a vendor).

How will my master microfilm be stored?
 This is extremely important – silver-halide master microfilm is tested to last 500 years, but only if it is stored properly, in a humidity-and-temperature controlled environment. Copies for libraries are made from this master microfilm, and will inherit any issues with clarity and readability.
What are your microfilming quality standards? 
The permanent physical record of a newspaper (and often of the history of your town) requires care and precision. Does your vendor strictly adhere to ANSI and AIIM standards? Is the film stock used the one you contracted for? Do you currently audit the density, reduction ratios, and clarity of your film? Do you have a clear understanding of the vendor’s quality control process? Do you understand where, and under what conditions your film is being created? Have you requested a sample?
How well do you understand the needs of our library and community?
 Are you receiving all of the newspaper titles that you need to offer your patrons the best research experience? Does your account manager have knowledge of best practices for storing and viewing your film? Does your vendor understand the value of digital records, and know when microfilm is a better option than digital, and vice-versa?
Can you help on other projects? 
Can your microfilm vendor assist in preserving documents for you directly? Will they help build a preservation program to aid in saving old documents, genealogy books and charts, and more? Do they have the knowledge to help build a digital repository?
Are your prices fair? No follow up questions needed, you will know.
If you do not feel your current provider can, or is willing to answer the questions above, or you suddenly find yourself with out a provider…we would like you to know that there is an alternative. We built Advantage Preservation specifically to address the deficiencies in the industry. We came together from different areas in the preservation and newspaper publishing communities because we are not happy with how publishers and libraries are being treated. We have designed a preservation solution with clear and open answers to all the above questions, as well as a dedication to quality and a focus on marketing your history. Our program is designed to care for newspaper publishers and libraries equally. If you are interested in what we can offer you, I’ve included a sheet with some of the key differences between us and many of our competitors.

Please remember to contact your current vendor to make sure they are taking care of your history

Microfilm Subscriptions

Subscriptions to newspaper microfilm from Advantage Preservation can be as much as 40% less than you are currently paying to your current vendor. We partner with several libraries and historical societies on microfilming and preserving their historical documents, and they have become close friends over the years. We understand the challenges. We know the budgets you face, and with Advantage you will receive high quality film at a greatly reduced price compared to other service providers. All film is produced in the United States, and original materials will never leave our secure facility. There are no long term contracts to sign. We are very confident that you will be satisfied with our service.

Advantage Preservation microfilm subscriptions for libraries, colleges, county clerk offices, and historical societies are often as much as 40% less than our competitors.
We will work with you and your community’s publisher to find a solution that satisfies all parties, is in compliance with all copyright laws, and respects the intellectual property of the rights holder.
Your microfilm will be produced in a timely fashion after receiving the newspapers.
If there is a delay for any reason (missing issues, ect.) you will be notified immediately.

The Community History Archives
At Advantage Preservation, we understand that preservation is only 1/2 of the equation. Once your materials are protected on Microfilm, you need to consider accessibility to the valuable content. Advantage Preservation offers a user friendly digital solution to research your materials via our Community History Archive hosted solution. After we digitize the newspaper pages, we OCR (Optical Character Recognition), index and host the images on a portal where your patrons can browse, search, view, clip, and share articles and pages from your community’s history.

Researchers and Genealogists that visit your institution can save time by searching through your database by name, date range, key words, etc…without the expense of purchasing or upkeep of a microfilm reader.

Our Quality Standards
There is a difference between a microfilm “service provider” and a true partner for microfilming services. Advantage is a partner, not a “provider”, and our reputation is built on our commitment to provide our partners with the quality that they deserve.

Quality Control and Quality Assurance are what set the microform production process at Advantage Preservation apart from others in the industry. Quality Control is defined as those steps incorporated into the production process that are designed specifically to reduce error. Quality Assurance is the process by which the total product is examined to ensure that the quality criteria established by Advantage Preservation are met.

Quality criteria may include, but may not be limited to:

Overall legibility
Smallest detail legibility captured
Completeness of detail

Dimensional accuracy compared with the original
Completeness of overall image area

Completeness of record vs. original materials provided
Date bars match the dates printed in the masthead or page
Targets are accurate

Our processes align to ANSI/AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management) standards for archival microfilming, as well as specifications developed by the Research Libraries Group (RLG) & by the Library of Congress. This requires stringent adherence to our internal guidelines regarding the careful production & examination of all archival microfilm, in addition to well controlled storage & handling conditions

Solutions We Offer

Whether your document is a day old, or 200 years old, Advantage has the technology, experience and expertise to provide you with archiving and access options that will fit your organization’s unique needs. We specialize in Document Imaging, Preservation Microfilming Services, Microform Scanning, Digital Archive Hosting, and Document Management Solutions.

Microfilm Digitization Services

Microfilm digitization is the key to unlock the content that is not currently accessible in a practical way. Creating a digital archive is a powerful tool, that will save time by searching through a community’s history by name, date-range, keywords, publication, or location…and not limited to a reel at a time, or if a microfilm reader is occupied (or operational!). Advantage Archives offers aa budget friendly digital solution, and an easy to use content delivery system to materials via our Community History Archives hosted search portals.

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Preservation Microfilming Services

The history recorded in the documents from communities across the country, is invaluable. Newspapers, atlases, almanacs, personal journals, directories, goverment documents…and even yearbook can put historical events in perspective, and allow us to view those events through the lens of someone who was there and witnessed “history as it happened”. It also allows us to connect to our past in a real and tangible way. This cultural asset must be protected and preserved so future generations can can have access to the documents that would otherwise be lost to the erosion of time if they remained on fragile paper. The only true way to ensure its survival, is through microfilming.

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Digital Archive Hosting

A digital archive allows you to give your historical documents a new life, and give your community an easy-to-use resource, by converting your local newspaper microfilm, and other historical documents, to a fully-searchable digital archive. The Community History Archives serve as a practical means to explore and discover content that was not easily accessible before. Preserving the historic content on microfilm ensures that the “first rough draft of history” is available for future generations. Using digitization as a supplement (not a replacement) to your long term archival strategy, it opens up a very real way for the members of your community to connect with their history.

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Document Imaging

The content contained on paper documents give a firsthand account of the and informs our perspective of history, that shaped not only your community, but also your state, and the nation…from a local perspective. Although historical newspaper imaging is our specialty, we have equal passion for all historic documents, including vital records, family bibles, transcripts, journals, and more. All documents and fragile papers are evaluated and processed to assure proper care and accurate conversion. Our experience covers a broad range of document types from a few days, a few years, or even 200 years ago. All phases of the archival document imaging process, such as preparation, document scanning, document indexing, etc., are managed effectively by the experienced team at Advantage. We work closely with our clients through the entire lifecycle of the project utilizing proven project management and preservation methodologies.

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Information Management Solutions

Historical preservation is far from our only area of expertise! Our dedicated commercial document imaging solution division AdvantageIMS, is dedicated to providing solutions for more documents critical your business or organization. Archiving and retrieving information may not be your core competency. It is ours. We provide solutions tailored to your specific requirements. Advantage Archives commercial division has provided document management solutions for many years. We pride ourselves in our understanding of business documents and their impact on your bottom line. We listen to your needs and requirements and design a solution specific to your company and its’ clients.

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Discover What’s New:

Visit Our Blog And See What We Have Been Up To, Find Some Interesting Articles & Insights, As Well As A Few Things We Have Discovered In The Archives.

Here Is What Our Clients Have To Say:

“Advantage and the State Historical Society have had a partnership, providing microfilm services, since 2011 and they have demonstrated great professionalism - they are experts in their field. Advantage shares our passion for newspapers, the content and making them accessible to people.”

Tony Jahn - State ArchivistState Historical Society Of Iowa

“Our archives are an important part of community history. They help us understand events in our community's history, help us understand contributions of generations past from a truly unique vantage point: as they were happening. Making these archives accessible to the public is a great service to the community. But it also comes with costs. In time, portions of the archive need to be repaired because they are decaying from age. Finding resources to complete the repairs - before it is too late - is important. It's one of the reasons why we're supportive of Advantage's program to find additional partners to support this important work. We believe this approach is scalable and can lead to a comprehensive project for Iowans across the state. We're appreciative of Advantage's approach and understanding for the value of the archive and their willingness to work as true partners.”

Zack Kucharski - Executive EditorCedar Rapids Gazette

“Advantage did a perfect job of reproducing our newspapers on microfilm. The price was the best, the original papers were returned, and the microfilm was complete. Concordia Parish Library was very pleased with the service and look forward to using them in the future.”

Amanda Taylor - DirectorConcordia Parish Library

“Seward and Seward County Nebraska both turn 150 years old in 2017, so the Seward Memorial Library undertook a Sesquicentennial project to film and digitize all county papers, a monumental project for a library our size that totaled over $30,000! Thanks to the fantastic service provided by Advantage Preservation, we are already close to achieving our goal. You’ve given us wonderful fund-raising ideas but even more importantly, you’ve provide a fantastic product that folks in Seward rave about. Being able to search our newspaper archives from home has generated so many compliments, especially in this year of historical significance, that I’m sorry we didn’t undertake this project years ago! It is easy to demonstrate its value to individuals and groups who are interested in donating to preserving our local history and it is just fun to browse old local newspapers. Thank you for all you do to make us look good!”

Becky Baker - Library DirectorSeward Memorial Library

“Advantage did a perfect job of reproducing our newspapers on microfilm. The price was the best, the original papers were returned, and the microfilm was complete. Concordia Parish Library was very pleased with the service and look forward to using them in the future.”

Amanda Taylor - DirectorConcordia Parish Library

“Advantage has been a valuable partner for the scanning needs of the Linn County Treasurer’s office for many years. Their weekly pickup and delivery of our paperwork is always on time and very dependable. The ease of searching their indexing allows my employees to have immediate access to hundreds of thousands of documents at their fingertips! They are a great company to work with!”

Sharon Gonzalez - Linn County TreasurerLinn County, Iowa

“I want to tell you how excited we are with our digitization of our old newspapers. With trepidation we sent you all 42 reels of microfilm. They were returned safely and now we have this wonderful searchable database. We can search so many ways, and the best part is, with the link on our homepage, our newspapers, dating back to 1850, are available from anywhere in the world! Now when someone in Michigan wants genealogy help, they are but a click away. Thank you thank you thank you. Progress is great!”

Sue Ayers - DirectorClyde-Savannah Public Library

“Michelle was easy to work with during the time we were purchasing our digital material. She was always pleasant to talk to and always willing answer any questions I had during that time. I feel she went up and beyond what most sales people do. We are very pleased with the product and customer service we received. Thank you,”

Lola Seitz - Library DirectorPawnee City Public Library

“We are so pleased with the digitalization and search capabilities that Advantage has provided for The Hennessey Clipper. The website is a particular plus because it allows our patrons access in their own homes, and some of our patrons are researching from locations all across the United States. Advantage has made it possible for us to be 24/7 with our digital archives and has resulted in donations for additional electronic files. Thank you so much!”

Mary Haney - DirectorHennessey Public Library

“And thank you, also, for the shout out to libraries and all the other funding resources we work with to be able to digitize our newspapers and provide this wonderful resource for our communities. Next time I have an opportunity to visit with all the local organizations that helped make our project possible, I will share this article and show them how many archives have been preserved thanks to working with Advantage. We’re so pleased to be part of a true success story!”

Jane Millard - DirectorJefferson Public Library

“A digitization project can be very daunting. Procuring a professional company to digitize valuable and one-of-a-kind materials is quite stressful. If the materials are lost or damaged, they cannot be replaced. My fears were immediately alleviated when I initially spoke with Larry Eckhardt at Advantage. Larry answered all of my questions and responded quickly to my emails. The process of sending and receiving the microfilms of our local newspaper was seamless, and Larry was very helpful throughout the process. We received the materials back in great shape and immediately utilized the website that held our local history. That site is well used by our staff as well as patrons in Ohio and all over the nation. It is so nice to be able to show a genealogist across the country how to access an obituary from years ago. The patrons also enjoy perusing the old newspapers. This is all possible because of the work completed by Larry and Advantage. I would recommend them highly for all of your digitization needs.”

Susan F. Corl - Head of Reference and Adult Collection Services
 Holmes County District Public Library

“Larry Eckhardt from Advantage was a huge help when our library embarked upon our first digital project. We were unfamiliar with the digital process, but Mr. Eckhardt walked us through every step. He was always available to answer any question and prompt to reply. We plan on doing more business with Advantage because of Mr. Eckhardt’s quality service. We are also very happy with the quality of the digital images produced by the Advantage.”

Kate Lewis - DirectorCarnagie Public Library

“We are so pleased with our digitized newspapers from Advantage Companies. The Advantage staff were great to work with, always courteous, very knowledgeable, and above-and-beyond helpful!”

Patti Smith - DirectorBrimfield Public Library

“Advantage and everyone who works there deserves a huge THANK YOU for all your hard work and years of dedication to digitizing so many, many years of newspapers for so many locations around the United States. It’s nice to see Advantage getting credit for this ambitious endeavor. I know there is always more work to do, and more mountains to climb, but I wanted to take a few minutes to show my gratitude, both as a librarian, and as a family historian. You guys all great!”

Jane Millard - DirectorJefferson Public Library

“Advantage's Iowa History project to microfilm, digitize, and make available Iowa's newspapers to schools, libraries, and museums at no charge to the state, offers an opportunity to engage Iowans of all ages in the joy of research and discovery. Through research and the process of understanding past events, valuable 21st century skills are developed such as critical thinking, independent thinking, judgment of the accuracy and reliability of sources, analysis of conflicting evidence, awareness of multiple perspectives, interpretation, and communication. The Iowa Museum Association celebrates projects such as this, that provide historical resources to Iowans of all ages through their schools, museums, and libraries.”

Cynthia Sweet - Executive Director Iowa Museum Association

“The records that the University of Iowa Office of the Registrar maintains are not only our own institution (documents dating back to 1874) but we are the custodial institution for defunct post-secondary education facilities in Iowa so we have academic records from 22 closed schools (to date). With technology advancements, we have chosen to have a “back-up” copy of the paper form of all transcripts. There are so many issues that affect paper – we have records that are literally decomposing as they sit on shelves from non-controlled climate issues, insects & rodents, adhesive tape, labels, and rusting staples – so we microfilmed all paper records. There are also issues with microfilm & microfiche – aging of film so it yellows or breaks, lack of equipment with which to VIEW the film/fiche, the rows/sleeves of fiche split & the images fall out and are lost – so we chose to convert our microfiche/film items to digital. The Registrar’s Office feels confident with our choice in keeping with technology – going digital and with our selection of Advantage to process our conversions.”

Sarah N.M. Harris - Senior Associate RegistrarUniversity of Iowa

“After speaking with other libraries who had utilized Advantage, I reached out to Larry Eckhardt when we were considering digitizing our microfilm collection. Not only did Larry respond with a comprehensive and detailed quote, and estimated time frame, but Advantage also safely received, processed, and digitized our collection in less time than originally scheduled. Through the whole process I've been very impressed with Advantage's work, and particularly of the prompt assistance that Larry has provided when questions have arisen. Our patrons are ecstatic that our former microfilm collection is now available 24/7 from our website, which Advantage was able to set-up seamlessly. I would highly recommend Advantage and Larry Eckhardt as your rep for your digitization needs!”

Amanda Bennett - Director Ada Public Library

“The Iowa History Project will provide equity and access to thousands of authentic primary sources in Iowa history. This will provide teachers and students across Iowa the chance to see Iowa history in a new light and uncover the stories that make Iowa history come to life.”

Stefanie Rosenberg Wager - Social Studies Consultant Iowa Department of Education

“The Champaign County Library contracted Advantage to digitize our local newspapers that date back to the 1820's. We have received many compliments from library staff and members of the community who appreciate the convenient access and ease of locating information that before would take months to search through on microfilm. This information can now be accessed not only at the library but from anywhere in the world on the Internet. Mr. Eckhardt was very helpful with this project and is always available to answer any questions.”

Gloria Malone - Reference/Genealogy
Champaign County Library

“Advantage digitized the local Niles newspapers for us. The project went very smoothly from the inception of the project to the finish. The Advantage Preservation staff was easy to work with and the job was done on time. The Niles papers are easy to search by keywords. I have received nothing but compliments about the Niles Times being digitized. The local newspaper even uses the digitized papers for their look back on local history.”

Patrick Finan - Library Director McKinley Memorial Library

“Advantage did a fine job for our library, the Way Public Library in Perrysburg, Ohio. Our city has had two or three newspapers at different times over the past 150 years or more and he digitized all of them last summer. We sent them our microfilmed newspapers. They scanned them and returned them to us safely. Now we are able to search these newspapers electronically. This is a powerful tool for research. This collection, now digitally accessible has become a great asset to our Local History Department, library and our community. (Should have done it a long time ago.) I hope to work with Advantage on future projects.”

Richard Baranowski - Local History Librarian Way Public Library

“We chose Advantage to digitize 46 reels of microfilm of our former local newspaper, which ceased publication in 1983. How wonderful it is to have access to these digital files through our library’s website and have both searching & printing capabilities which were not available previously. Through in-library promotion & word of mouth in our small town’s newsletter, we have been able to gain support for this project and receive additional donations. Thank you to Larry Eckhardt & Advantage!”

Dianna Oda - Director Brown Memorial Library