For Long Term Preservation,
Microfilm Is The Archival Standard
Preservation Microfilming Services
- Preservation Microfilming
- Newspaper Conversion
- Choosing A New Vendor
- Inspection & Audit Services
- Microfilm Storage
Microfilming Solutions For Document Preservation
We use the only proven long term preservation method for newspaper & document preservation, microfilming on to silver halide 35MM archival quality film. This polyester based microfilm is the only medium currently recommended for preservation microfilming. This stable and durable medium has a life expectancy of over 500 years under the proper storage and handling conditions.
Advantage Preservation prides itself not only meeting, but exceeding ANSI/AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management) standards for archival microfilming, as well as specifications developed by the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and by the Library of Congress. This requires stringent adherence to internal Advantage Preservation guidelines regarding the careful production and examination of all archival microfilm, in addition to well controlled storage and handling conditions.
We have experience and expertise in the care, handling, and archiving of a vast array of or original printed materials, including:
- Historical Newspapers
- Diaries & Personal Journals
- Books & Printed Literature
- Record Books
- Marriage Records
- Genealogical Research
- Recent Local Newspapers
- Immigration Records
- Military Records
- Government Papers
- Birth Records
- Death Records
- Public Announcements
- Visitor Books
- Muster Roles
- Regional Circulars
- Census Records
- Church Records
- Family Trees
Newspaper Microfilming Services
The history recorded in the pages of a community’s newspaper is invaluable. It puts historical events in perspective, allows 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 “first draft of history”. The only true way to ensure it’s survival, is through microfilming.
Those local historical newspapers, record books, public records, and photos must be captured onto 35mm Silver Halide Microfilm to protect the valuable content from the ravages of time. Our microfilm meets all ANSI/AIIM Standards for microfilm preservation and use archival-quality 35mm Silver Halide microfilm produced in our FujiFilm Certified Lab for true 500+ year preservation. Through a collaborative approach, our clients are involved from the initial specifications to the delivery of the products, thus assuring the outcome they want and expect. All film is produced in the United States, and original materials will NEVER leave our secure facility. With microfilm that is stored to our standards, archived content will be available for future generations and can be accessed by anyone with a magnifying glass and a light source!
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
Choosing Your Next Microfilm Partner
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? Have they even asked? 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 when it comes to price, 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
Inspection & Audit Services For Microfilm Collections
As resources and time are limited commodities in most organizations, we have contract services for microfilm inspection available to help ensure the integrity of your film archive. Advantage Preservation’s associates and archival specialists will evaluate existing acetate based microfilm collections and provide detailed documentation concerning the current condition of your archive. We will document any brittle film, microfilm with redox or other blemishes, the presence of vinegar syndrome (and stage of infection), any discoloration , mold or fungus growth, or any other condition that may jeopardize the life and longevity of your valuable archive.
At minimum, each year a random sample of not less than 2% of the total number of rolls stored in the facility should be examined to determine if deterioration is taking place. Each successive year the sampling population should include new rolls stored in the facility and the balance of the rolls not examined in the previous year. Film collections containing older films should be inspected in greater numbers. Guidelines for inspection are available in ANSI/AIIM MS45-1990 – Recommended Practice for Inspection of Stored Silver Gelatin Microforms for Evidence of Deterioration (as amended or replaced). In addition to common microfilm maladies, we will inspect each roll for quality, and adherence to standards. This includes counting the number of physical splices (and butt splices as opposed to overlap splices) and there are no rubber-based adhesives contained in any tape material used.
Lastly, a content inventory will be assembled to determine gaps in coverage, missing dates, and/or incorrect labeling or database information. Once the audit and inspection are complete, your account manager will share his or her findings in a comprehensive report and solutions can be discussed. 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. The microfilm must meet standard ANSI/NAPM IT9.1 (See Appendix A), except where these sections specifically state otherwise. Our process includes:
- Documenting start and end dates on each 100-foot roll of microfilm
- Quality auditing of 2% -5% of collection to ensure density and resolution of the microfilm in compliance with ANSI/AIIM Standards
- 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.
Archival Microfilm Storage
Adhering to the strict quality standards we have adopted by Advantage Preservation, never ends. To ensure you preserved content is available 50, 100, or even 500 years, the proper storage conditions must be maintained. When you partner with Advantage, you are invited to store your original microfilm in our purpose-built microfilm vault in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, under conditions that meet or exceed industry standards and best practices.
To ensure your collection meets the 500 year life expectancy target, the microfilm will be stored in temperature and humidity controlled vault. The vault’s temperature is set at a 67 degree base temperature, and will not exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit. A constant relative humidity of 35% will be maintained with a maximum variance of plus/minus 5.0% in a 24-hour period. We store your film on 1,000 foot reels and a non reactive 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 an Advantage barcode which will then be ingested into our records management software allowing for cataloging the location and contents.
Advantage Preservation’s Adopted Microfilm Storage Standards
When you entrust us as a custodian of your microfilm collection, we take every that as a very serious responsibility. We have adopted several industry standards, and developed additional procedures to ensure the content contained on your microfilm is available for future generations.
Microfilm storage facility:
- Must be 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
- Must be equipped with a fire alarm system and capable of preventing temperatures inside the storage vault from exceeding 150 degrees & the relative humidity from exceeding 85% for up to two hours in the event of an external fire
- Must be equipped with a fire suppression system and with automatic fire control dampers in ducts carrying air to and from the storage room/vault
- If needed, it should be equipped with a system capable of removing those gaseous impurities in the surrounding environment as specified in standard ANSI IT9.11;
- 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;
Temperature and humidity controls:
- 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.
- 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.
Microfilm containers and storage housings:
- 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 microfilm container must be used for processed microfilm to protect the film and facilitate identification and handling.
- If an adhesive is used, it must have no harmful effect on the photographic images.
- Inks used on the container and on the label must not be a source of damage to the film or the enclosure itself.
- Paper that is free of chemicals harmful to the film may be used to secure roll film, if needed.
Container label information:
- If the film is original microfilm or a duplicate, including generation number if known
- Identification number
- Name of agency
- Records series title
- Inclusive dates of records
- The beginning and ending records
- Retakes/additions, if applicable
Storage on open racking with closed containers:
- Storage housing materials must be noncombustible and noncorrosive.
- Storage housing and containers must not be overloaded and film must not be stored under pressure.
- 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.[/one_third_last]
The Markets We Serve
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.
Libraries & Historical Societies
Educational institutions of all sizes, public and private, are burdened with more paperwork than ever before. Dealing with paper-based business processes while struggling to comply with regulations such as NCLB, FERPA and HIPAA is tough for any administrator. The Advantage Archives 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.
Newspaper publishers have recorded their community’s “first draft of history” everyday. We preserve that history, on microfilm, and partner with the publisher to make that preserved content widely available to interested libraries and institutions in their community and beyond. Our processes meet or exceed all ANSI/AIIM Standards for microfilm preservation. The service will be done at no cost to our publishing partners. The only cost you will have is shipping the papers to our facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Qualifying titles will enjoy a revenue sharing opportunity on the content sold to the libraries on a subscription basis. The master negative copy can be stored at no additional charge in our state of the art vault under the publisher’s ownership. We are nearly the custodian of the publisher’s intellectual property.
Government Libraries, Historical Societies, Archives, & Other Agencies
Advantage team has been closely monitoring the painful condition and trends in the budgets of our state governments… and we are extremely conscious of the fact that one of the hardest hit areas over the past several years has been in newspaper and historical preservation services in State Libraries. The cuts have been deep, and in many cases, these institutions have been left behind. We have developed several service offering and solutions in the wake of the ongoing budget cuts and resource allocations…most provided at no cost to the state or its tax payers.
College And University Libraries, K-12 Schools, & Other Educational Institutions
Advantage Archives has been working with educational institutions of all sizes, public and private for many years, and we understand the importance of the services they provide their students, their community, their state, and beyond. We have partnered with these institutions to provide subscriptions to newspapers on microfilm, preservation microfilming services, digital access solutions, and much, much more. We also recognize that the administration is burdened with more paperwork than ever before. Dealing with paper-based business processes while struggling to comply with regulations such as NCLB, FERPA and HIPAA is resource intensive to say he least. Our 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.
Historical preservation is far from our only area of expertise! Our dedicated commercial document imaging solution division AdvantageIMS, is dedicated to providing solutions to industries and government agencies everywhere. Businesses large and small value their partnership with Advantage, as much as we value ours with them. Archiving and retrieving information may not be your core competency, but it is ours. We provide solutions tailored to your industries including hospitals, universities, law firms, manufacturing companies, research firms, transportation, and any other business that generates paperwork. Advantage’s 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.
About Advantage Archives:
We work with libraries, state and local historical societies, newspaper publishers, genealogical societies, museums, schools, colleges, and other institutions that value history as much as we do. Our model is to focus on partnerships that bring together the rights holder, the the libraries, and the schools and provide a means to involve other like minded individuals in their community. Together we share in the responsibility of preserving and providing access to their local history. We accept our role and the importance of our responsibility in the handling of your newspapers, microfilm, historical documents, business records, and other original materials you have entrusted to our care. We are diligent in our process and practices, and will provide your organization with the quality of service your organization demands and deserves, handled with the passion and pride of a team of imaging professionals and preservationists that care as much about your community’s history, as they do their own.
At Advantage we work to ensure that documents from yesterday, last year, or a century ago, are available today, next year, or a century from now….
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