Advantage Preservation Policies & Practices

To ensure that the history of each community is properly preserved the content is easy and practical to access, Advantage has adopted strict Practices & Policies for Newspaper Collections

Preservation Microfilming Services:

Preservation of physical newspapers either lose, or contained within bound volumes will be captured to 35mm silver halide microfilm in accordance to ANSI/AIIM standards. (See Appendix A)

  • Auditing all available versions of source material available for the project to identify best available quality original for filming.
  • Ensure that reasonable effort is put forth to repair any imperfections that affect the legibility of the pages on the volumes identified for filming.
  • Document preparation, including but not limited to: the insertion of targets (density target, resolution target, declaration by camera operator) and preparing the newspapers in a manner that they are filmed in an orderly sequence and misplaced pages will be put in the correct order.
  • If missing or illegible pages are identified, they will be documented by inserting and the proper filming targets, as specified in standard ANSI/AIIM MS23. (Appendix A)
  • Microfilming the physical newspapers on roll microfilm first-generation, silver microfilm. A leader with a minimum of 28 inches of blank film will be used as well as a trailer also of 28 inches. The shot count per 100 foot roll of film will not exceed 1000 pages. Lab processing of the camera master and methylene blue testing.
  • Quality assurance of the images on film. If pages do not pass the quality tests, they will be sent back to the camera operator for retakes. Replacement images will be identified by a title target identifying the retake/addition records. Retakes/additions will be spliced either before the density and resolution targets at the beginning of the film or after the density and resolution targets at the end of the film.
  • Reassembly or packaging of the physical volumes
  • Preparation of film for audit

Microfilm Collection Audit:

To ensure that the collection is complete and contains the highest quality images available, and no content is compromised due to vinegar syndrome or redox, the microfilm collection will be audited in its entirety. The quality-index graph in standard ANSI/AIIM MS23 will be used to determine the minimum quality index for 15% of the total volume of microfilm. All microfilm must meet a minimum quality index level of 5.0. (See Appendix B). The microfilm must meet standard ANSI/NAPM IT9.1 (See Appendix A), except where these sections specifically state otherwise.

  • Documenting start and end dates on each 100-foot roll of microfilm
  • Quality auditing of 15% of collection to ensure density and resolution of the microfilm in compliance with ANSI/AIIM Standards (See Appendix A)
  • Visual inspection to verify image quality, skewing, damage or defects. If an issue is found, the un-inspected microfilm preceding and/or following those pages will be inspected image by image until all defective film has been identified.
  • Each roll identified as needing to be re-filmed will be documented and cross referenced with the audit of bound volumes to identify best original available.
  • Each 100-foot microfilm rolls will be conjoined for storage on 1,000 foot reels for long term archival storage
  • Any deteriorating film will be immediately removed, documented and communicated to all parties involved in this agreement. Once the problem is corrected it will be returned to storage.

Microfilm Storage:

  • Original microfilm will be stored in the purpose-built microfilm vault in the Advantage Companies records management center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, under conditions that meet or exceed standards and practices.
  • The microfilm will be stored in temperature and humidity vault. The vaults temperature will not exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and a constant relative humidity of 35% will be maintained with a maximum variance of plus/minus 5.0% relative humidity in a 24-hour period.
  • A microfilm will be stored on 1,000 foot reels and a container will be used for processed microfilm to protect the film and facilitate identification and handling.
  • Only, chemically stable materials such as non-corrosive metals (anodized aluminum or stainless steel), peroxide-free plastics, and acid-free paper will be used for containers to ensure no degradation is caused to the image.
  • Container label information will include identification number and Advantage Records Management barcode which will then be ingested into the records management software allowing for cataloging the location and contents.
  • An annual inspection will be performed on a sample of 1/1000th of the total volume of stored microfilm.

Digital Access Services:

The newspaper microfilm will be scanned in the manner best suited to providing volume and cost effectiveness, while retaining an image quality that allows for access. The Advantage scanning process is intended to accurately render the content of the original newspaper if the source material in respect to its completeness, appearance of original text and correct sequence of pages. The reproduction of photographs and accurate tonality are not the intent of this process.

Newspaper microfilm will only be scanned for access, not as a preservation method in keeping with the Advantage philosophy that digitization is an enhancement to make the content more practically accessible, and not as an archival solution. The original microfilmed newspapers will remain the preservation copy after digitization

  • All images will be scanned bi-tonally at 300 dpi using only compression with no application/product dependencies or extensions and no loss of image readability.
  • Images will be scanned as a tiff, with a PDF/A file for the display and deliverable copy, ensuring completeness of the record, as all of the elements to render the file are contained within the file itself. A PNG file will be used for online access to the content (in conjunction with PDF/A formats if necessary until conversion.
  • Each image will be cropped, de-skewed and OCR’d prior to indexing
  • Indexing for online search ability will be done at the Page, Title, City, County, State and Date level. No further metadata is collected or stored.
  • Quality control will be performed consistently throughout the process to ensure quality of scans. 15% of the images will be audited for quality assurance.
  • Digital images will be evaluated to verify that the digitized version accurately represents the content of the original document, this does not imply legibility of the digital reproduction.
  • Image conversion services of previously digitized materials must be performed so the existing digital images can be imported into the Advantage Preservation search portal. Due to rapidly changing technology, the preexisting digital images must be evaluated to determine if the migration of media, migration of file format and other actions must be performed for continued accessibility

Appendix A: Adopted National Standards:

Advantage Preservation adheres to the recommended practices issued by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and/or the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) as minimum requirements for all microfilming of state records where these sections do not specify a standard or practice.

(1) AIIM TR2-1992, Glossary of Imaging Technology.

(2) AIIM TR11-1987 with 1993 addendum, Microfilm Jacket Formatting and Loading Techniques.

(3) AIIM TR12-1988, Bar Coding on Microfiche for Production and Dynamic Distribution Control.

(4) ANSI IT9.2-1991, Imaging Media – Photographic Processed Films, Plates, and Papers – Filing Enclosures and Storage Containers.

(5) ANSI IT9.5-1992, Imaging Media (Film) – Ammonia-Processed Diazo Films – Specifications for Stability.

(6) ANSI IT9.11-1991, Imaging Media – Processed Safety Photographic Film – Storage.

(7) ANSI IT9.12-1991, Photography – Processed Vesicular Photographic Film – Specifications for Stability.

(8) ANSI/AIIM MS1-1988, Recommended Practice for Alphanumeric Computer-Output Microforms – Operational Practices for Inspection and Quality Control.

(9) ANSI/AIIM MS5-1992, Microfiche.

(10) ANSI/AIIM MS8-1988, Image Mark (Blip) Used in Image Mark Retrieval Systems.

(11) ANSI/AIIM MS11-1987, Microfilm Jackets.

(12) ANSI/AIIM MS14-1988, Specifications for 16mm and 35mm Roll Microfilm.

(13) ANSI/AIIM MS17-1992, Micrographics – Rotary (Flow) Microfilm Camera Test Chart and Test Target – Descriptions and Use.

(14) ANSI/AIIM MS18-1992, Micrographics – Splices for Imaged Microfilm – Dimensions and Operational Constraints.

(15) ANSI/AIIM MS19-1993, Standard Recommended Practice – Identification of Microforms.

(16) ANSI/AIIM MS23-1991, Practice for Operational Procedures/Inspection and Quality Control of First-generation, Silver Microfilm of Documents.

(17) ANSI/AIIM MS28-1987, Alphanumeric COM Quality Test Slide.

(18) ANSI/AIIM MS39-1987, Recommended Practice for Operational Procedures, Quality Control and Inspection of Graphic Computer-Output Microforms.

(19) ANSI/AIIM MS42-1989, Recommended Practice for the Expungement, Deletion, Correction, or Amendment of Records on Microforms.

(20) ANSI/AIIM MS43-1988, Recommended Practice for Operational Procedures/Inspection and Quality Control of Duplicate Microforms of Documents and From COM.

(21) ANSI/AIIM MS45-1990, Recommended Practice for Inspection of Stored Silver-Gelatin Microforms for Evidence of Deterioration.

(22) ANSI/AIIM MS51-1991, Micrographics – ISO Resolution Test Chart No. 2 – Description and Use.

(23) ANSI/NAPM IT9.1-1992, Imaging Media (Film) – Silver-Gelatin Type – Specifications for Stability.

(24) ANSI/NAPM IT9.17-1993, Photography – Determination of Residual Thiosulfate and Other Related Chemicals in Processed Photographic Materials – Methods Using Iodine-Amylose, Methylene Blue and Silver Sulfide.

Appendix B: 35mm Preservation Microfilming Process Standards Reference

(a) Standards for original microfilm.

(1) First-generation, silver microfilm – ANSI/AIIM MS23.

(2) Microfiche – ANSI/AIIM MS5.

(3) Roll microfilm – ANSI/AIIM MS14.

(4) Splices for microfilm – ANSI/AIIM MS18.

(5) The quality-index graph in standard ANSI/AIIM MS23 must be used to determine the minimum quality index for all microfilm of essential and permanent records and for 10% of the total volume of microfilm of other records. All microfilm of permanent and essential records must meet a minimum quality index level of 5.0. Microfilm of other records must meet a minimum quality index level of 3.6.

(b) Standards for microfilm duplicates.

(1) ANSI/AIIM MS43 and the following standards, as applicable.

(2) Diazo film – ANSI IT9.5.

(3) Vesicular film – ANSI IT9.12.

(4) Silver film – ANSI/NAPM IT9.1.

(c) Film specifications.

(1) Original microfilm must meet standard ANSI/NAPM IT9.1, except where these sections specifically state otherwise.

(2) Film with a polyester base must be used for records having a retention period of 10 years or more.

(3) Any film type may be used for records having a retention period of less than 10 years, provided the microfilmed record will last for the required retention period.

(d) Indexing.

(1) The indexing and retrieval system to be used must be determined before preparing documents for filming.

(2) The records must be arranged, identified, and indexed for filming so that an individual document or a series of documents can be located on film.

(3) Any use of image marking must comply with standard ANSI/AIIM MS8.

(4) In those instances where records are not self-indexing, (i.e. not in a readily identifiable numeric or alphabetic sequence) an index must be maintained.

(e) Document preparation.

(1) All imperfections that affect the legibility of a document must be repaired, if possible, and if allowed by the records administrator or records custodian.

(2) Documents must be filmed in an orderly sequence and misplaced pages, folders or other file units must be put in the correct order.

(3) The film must be as complete a record of the file as possible. Problems with missing file units, incorrect pagination, illegible pages, etc. must be documented by inserting and filming targets, as specified in standard ANSI/AIIM MS23.

(4) Whenever possible, targets must all face the same direction as the records being microfilmed.

(f) Image sequence for filming.

(1) The image sequence on roll microfilm must be at a minimum:

(A) leader with a minimum of 700 millimeters (28 inches) of blank film;

(B) density target and resolution target;

(C) title page;

(D) records on film;

(E) declaration by camera operator;

(F) density target and resolution target; and

(G) trailer with a minimum of 700 millimeters (28 inches) of blank film.

(2) The filming sequence for retakes/additions on all microfilm must be:

(A) title target identifying the retake/addition records;

(B) the retake/addition records; and

(C) declaration by camera operator.

(3) Retakes/additions can be spliced either before the density and resolution targets at the beginning of the film or after the density and resolution targets at the end of the film. Retakes/additions can be on another roll of film if cross-indexed to the original role on the title target and the container label.

Appendix C: Microfilm Production Tests and Inspections.

(a) The following tests will be performed on microfilm as indicated.

(1) Methylene blue test.

(A) A methylene blue test for conventionally processed silver-gelatin film must be performed on all original microfilm in compliance with standard ANSI/NAPM IT9.17.

(B) A test must be performed on a strip of processed, clear, and unexposed film approximately six inches long from the original microfilm or on a process control strip at least once each week during which processing is done.

(C) A test must also be performed whenever a batch of fixer or developer is changed, or when changes in processing such as replacement or addition of filter, water softener, or replenishing system are made, or when water is changed.

(D) If processing is performed by a service bureau, a test performed for one agency may satisfy this requirement for more than one agency.

(E) If film fails to meet the standards established by these sections, it must be rewashed and retested within 14 days of initial processing.

(F) Once a year, two test strips must be taken from the same microfilm; one must be sent to an independent testing laboratory and the other to the laboratory which performs the weekly test, for verification of test results.

(G) If either test result is greater than 0.014 grams per square meter, the records administrator or records custodian must identify and remedy the cause of the deviation from the required standard.

(2) Density test.

(A) A density test must be performed on all original microfilm in compliance with standard ANSI/AIIM MS23 and the background density must be in accordance with that standard.

(B) Densitometer used must be calibrated daily, when in use.

(3) Resolution test.

(A) A resolution test must be performed on all original microfilm in compliance with standard ANSI/AIIM MS23.

(B) The resolution target must meet the following standards:

(i) ANSI/AIIM MS17; and/or

(ii) ANSI/AIIM MS19; and/or

(iii) ANSI/AIIM MS51.

(C) Photocopies of the resolution target must not be used for testing.

(D) Resolution target images must be evaluated under a microscope to determine if resolution loss from duplicating is acceptable. A duplicate of a first-generation film must have a resolution loss of no more than one test pattern of the test objects described in ANSI/AIIM MS51.

(b) Original processed microfilm must be visually inspected according to the following procedures.

(1) Within two weeks of completion of the methylene blue test, a visual inspection of microfilm must be completed to verify legibility.

(2) Film of essential records or records having a retention period of 10 years or more must be inspected image by image.

(3) Film of non-essential records having a retention period of less than 10 years must be inspected at least every three meters (10 feet) of each roll or every third fiche.

(4) Images of documents must be uniformly placed on the film and must be free of any defects in the filming area that would interfere with the documents being read.

(5) If a defect is found on any microfilm, the microfilm immediately preceding and following the sample of microfilm on which the defect was found must be inspected. If a defect is found on those microfilms, the uninspected microfilm preceding and/or following those microfilms must be inspected image by image until all defective film has been identified.

(c) Testing and Inspection of Equipment.

(1) Cameras and ancillary equipment must be calibrated, tested, or otherwise inspected and adjusted at least twice annually or more often if required to comply with manufacturer’s specifications or recommended operating and maintenance procedures.

(2) Processors must be monitored on a scheduled basis with process control strips (densitometric strips) at a minimum at the start of processing each day and whenever a batch of film, fixer, or developer is changed, or when changes in processing such as replacement or addition of filter, water softener, or

Appendix D: Storage of Original Microfilm.

(a) Original microfilm must be stored in a separate building from that in which duplicate copies, if any, or the original records are housed, and under conditions that meet the requirements of this section.

(b) Microfilm must be stored in a storage room or vault that complies with the following:

(1) is separate from other types of storage, offices, or work areas and offers protection from fire, water, steam, structural collapse, unauthorized access, and other potential hazards;

(2) is equipped with a fire alarm system and capable of preventing temperatures inside the storage room/vault from exceeding 150 degrees Fahrenheit and the relative humidity inside the storage room/vault from exceeding 85% for up to two hours in the event of a fire external to the storage room/vault;

(3) if constructed or readapted after 1991 to serve as a microfilm storage facility, is equipped with a fire suppression system and with automatic fire control dampers in ducts carrying air to and from the storage room/vault;

(4) if needed, is equipped with a system capable of removing those gaseous impurities in the surrounding environment as specified in standard ANSI IT9.11;

(5) if subject to invasion of solid particles that can abrade film or react on the images, has mechanical filters or electrostatic precipitators installed with a cleaning efficiency of at least 80% when tested with atmospheric air in accordance with standard ANSI IT9.11;

(6) has approximately 0.05 inch of pressure above atmospheric pressure; e.g., a positive air pressure is maintained within the storage room or vault; and

(7) has adequate temperature and humidity controls.

(A) For microfilm of records with a retention of 10 years or more, temperature must not exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and a constant relative humidity of 35% must be maintained with a maximum variance of plus/minus 5.0% relative humidity in a 24-hour period.

(B) For microfilm of records with a retention of less than 10 years, the maximum temperature must not exceed 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and a relative humidity range between 20% and 50% must be maintained with a maximum variation of plus/minus 5.0% relative humidity in a 24-hour period.

(c) Standards for microfilm containers and storage housings.

(1) A microfilm container must be used for processed microfilm to protect the film and facilitate identification and handling.

(2) Chemically stable materials such as non-corrosible metals (anodized aluminum or stainless steel), peroxide-free plastics, and acid-free paper must be used for containers to ensure no degradation is caused to the image.

(A) If an adhesive is used, it must have no harmful effect on the photographic images.

(B) Inks used on the container and on the label must not be a source of products that may damage the film or the enclosure itself.

(C) Paper that is free of chemicals harmful to the film may be used to secure roll film, if needed.

(3) Container label information must include:

(A) whether the film is original microfilm or a duplicate, including generation number if known;

(B) identification number;

(C) name of agency;

(D) records series title;

(E) inclusive dates of records;

(F) the beginning and ending records; and

(G) retakes/additions, if applicable.

(4) Microfilm must be stored in a closed housing or may be stored on open shelves or racks if the film is in closed containers.

(5) Storage housing materials must be noncombustible and noncorrosive.

(6) Storage housing and containers must not be overloaded and film must not be stored under pressure.

(d) Films of different generic types, such as silver-gelatin, diazo, and vesicular films, must not be stored in the same storage room/vault or in rooms sharing common ventilation.

Appendix E: Inspection of Stored Original Microfilm.

(a) An inspection of stored original microfilm must be conducted in accordance with the following standards:

(1) ANSI IT9.11;

(2) ANSI/AIIM MS45; and

(3) ANSI/NAPM IT9.1.

(b) When inspection is done, the sample of microfilm to be inspected for each storage room or vault, if more than one, must be 1/1000th of the total volume of stored microfilm or at least 100 microforms (rolls, jackets, microfiche, aperture cards, COM, etc.) whichever is greater. Sampling procedures must be established that will assure that all parts of the group of microfilm are represented.

(c) An inspection of stored microfilm must be conducted every two years, except if the microfilm has been stored under temperature and/or humidity conditions other than those specified in these sections, it must be inspected yearly.

(d) Containers used to store the film must be inspected for evidence of rust, corrosion, or other deterioration and replaced, if needed.

(e) Original microfilm must be inspected on a light box with rewinds or comparable equipment which will not scratch the film.

(f) If deterioration is found, a more extensive inspection must be conducted to locate all deteriorating film.

(g) Any deteriorating film must immediately be removed from the storage area and the problem corrected before returning the film to storage.

Appendix F: Documentation and Record Keeping:

(a) Microfilm production, including testing, and inspection.

(b) Microfilm storage inspections.

(1) The following information must be recorded for each inspection of stored microfilm.

(A) the quantity and identification of microfilm inspected;

(B) the condition of the microfilm, including description of any deterioration;

(C) any corrective action required;

(D) the date(s) of inspection and signed certification of inspector; and

(E) the date any corrective action was completed.

(2) The inspection log of stored microfilm must be maintained by year and within each year numerically according to microfilm identifier or number.

(c) Microfilm program procedures, training, and reviews.

(1) Written procedures must be prepared for the microfilm program and periodically updated to reflect current practice and at a minimum must include a description of:

(A) purpose of microfilm program;

(B) microfilm production including tests and inspections;

(C) storage of microfilm;

(D) inspection of stored microfilm;

(E) destruction of microfilmed records including expungement of information on microfilm; and

Appendix G: Glossary Pertinent to This Action Plan

Declaration by the camera operator-A target photographed on film following the filmed records that provides identification of beginning and ending records on the film; signature of the camera operator; date the declaration was filmed; and reduction range, if more than one ratio has been used.

Duplicate microfilm-A microfilm copy made from the original or master negative. Can be silver, diazo or vesicular film.

Microfilm-Roll microfilm, microfiche, computer output microfilm (COM), and all other formats produced by any method of microphotography or other means of miniaturization on film.

Microfilm container-Generic term for any enclosure in close or direct contact with film such as a reel, can, bag, folder, sleeve (sheath), jacket, envelope, window mount or mat, slide mount, carton, cartridge, cassette, and aperture card.

Microfilming-The methods, procedures, and processes used to produce microfilm.

Needs Assessment-A documented process to determine the feasibility and justification for microfilming records including consideration of the retention period and activity rate of the records, advantages and limitations of alternate records media, protection of essential records, access or retrieval concerns, and cost comparisons.

Original microfilm-Film produced directly from the record (also known as first-generation microfilm and camera film).

Title page- A target photographed on film stating that the records are microfilmed in the regular course of business and identifying the name of the agency of origin, if applicable; name of the records administrator or name and title of the current records custodian; name and location of service bureau, if applicable; reduction ratio; records series title; inclusive dates of records and volume numbers or serial numbers needed to clearly identify the records; and restriction or classification, if applicable.

The Advantage Companies document scanning and conversion solutions for educational institutions can help reduce costs, improve staff productivity and provide superior service to departments, faculty, students and parents. Ultimately, Advantage Information Solutions can help you dedicate resources to teaching rather than shuffling paper and worrying about compliance issues.

Many of our document scanning and conversion projects are done at our clients’ facilities. We have several teams of onsite technicians that are experienced in working at customer sites, including the installation of scanners, PCs, Servers, mini-networks that are not connected to client systems. We are able to maintain high volume production while accommodating document requests, customer work schedules, etc. Customers who prefer to have us pickup their documents can further reduce costs by having the conversion done at The Advantage Companies.

Advantage Information Management Solutions provides document management & imaging solutions to organizations across Iowa. We pride ourselves in providing outstanding customer service and quality services to Iowa’s  city, county, and state government agencies. Offering filming, imaging, and indexing of documents, Advantage Information Management Solutions focus is to ensure that your organization’s documents are easily accessible, now and in the future

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