Frequently Asked Questions

 Frequently Asked Questions:

Who is Advantage Preservation?

Advantage Preservation is dedicated solely to the preservation and digital access of historical newspaper content. Working with over 500 libraries and newspaper publishers across the country, Advantage Preservation carefully captures the “first draft of history” to microfilm in accordance to ANSI/AIIM standards for 500-year preservation. In addition, Advantage provides online access to that content as an enhancement to the preservation process, making that valuable content more easily accessible. In short: We preserve the past to ensure its future.

What kind of microfilm does Advantage Use?

Advantage creates all silver halide microfilm used for newspaper preservation in our FUJIFILM Certified Lab, using only the highest archival quality FUJIFILM products. The FUJIFILM North America Corporation Microfilm Processing Certification Program is designed to ensure processing consistency and quality through monitoring of our lab’s process activity level and QC control procedures. FUJIFILM-certified labs must perform daily and monthly testing to keep their certification current.

What microfilming quality standards does Advantage adhere to?

Advantage meets or exceeds all ANSI/AIIM standards for microfilm production, storage and duplication. We have developed an extensive, multi pass quality assurance program, and consider ourselves the preeminent microfilm lab in the country in terms of the quality of film produced. We apply the same strict quality control guidelines to our digital projects as well as our traditional conversion services. Our film is always produced in our film lab in our Cedar Rapids, Iowa facility. At no time will your original materials or film leave our facility without your express written consent.

What are the different types of microfilm?

At Advantage, we provide archival quality microfilming services to hundreds of libraries, historical societies and publishers across the country. The preservation filming process includes a master negative, silver duplicate negative and silver positive service copy. We will attempt to outline these and other types of film in the article found here.

What are the advantages of microfilm preservation and storage?

Microfilm has maintained its position as the standard for preservation since the 1930’s and for good reason. Microfilm that was created in the 1930’s and stored properly is still accessible today. That is why at the Advantage Companies, microfilming is still our preservation process and we provide microfilm services and storage to libraries and institutions across the country.

How will Advantage store our microfilm?

We store all microfilm in our environmentally controlled, purpose built, and secure microform storage facility.  We inspect, test,  & inventory all film in your collection upon arrival and audit your collection annually. You will receive detailed reporting as to the condition & completion of your archive, as well as recommendations on how we may further protect and provide access to your collection.

Where will Advantage physically store our microfilm?

All of our publishing partner’s microfilm is stored on-site in our 80,000 square foot facility located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and will not be moved, transferred, or stored elsewhere without the publisher’s express written permission.

What are my rights as a publisher?

You own your film and the content. Period. Advantage is merely the custodian of your archive. We will provide our clients services and help them monetize their archive, but at the end of the day, what we do and how we do it is at the discretion of the publisher.

How do publishers benefit from a relationship with Advantage ?

We pay royalties on every sale, creating a revenue stream to compliment the high quality product and service you will receive. At Advantage Preservation we recognize that your entire archive is a valuable asset and under your ownership. Advantage Preservation will partner with you to monetize this content on your behalf, and will not reuse, sell, “loan”, or otherwise profit from your archive without your express written consent and a fair royalty agreement in place.

What makes Advantage “different” than other microfilm and digitization providers?

We are not new to this business. Every member of our team has extensive experience in historical preservation and newspaper conversion. Many of us worked at well known microfilm service providers and newspaper digitization companies that we felt were doing a great disservice to their clients. We came together to form Advantage Preservation; a collaboration with newspapers and libraries to expand knowledge, reinforce the value and importance of newspapers, and build a viable and sustainable business model to benefit newspaper publishers and properly preserve history.

What are my rights as a microfilm subscriber?

We have had many conversations with librarians, newspaper publishers  and state entities who are deeply concerned with their current microfilm preservation companies.  Between receiving poor quality microfilm with a clear lack of adherence to national standards and often receiving their subscriptions months (we’ve heard, in some extreme cases, as much as a year) after the newspaper is published, they are worried about trusting these companies with their preservation budgets, about providing good and current resources to their patrons, and ultimately about the preservation of their town’s history.

What are the Community History Archives?

We believe preserving history is a shared responsibility. Advantage, community publishers, libraries, and other like minded individuals have come together to make local content more accessible as a now and in the future.

How do I use the Community History Archives?

We have created a series of tutorials that will provide you with an overview of  the Community History Archives and guide you on how to use the features and toolsets of the site as well as how to navigate the Search Engine Results Page, and Image Viewer.

Why should I digitize my community’s history?

Keyword searching allows staff to find information within seconds of typing in a name/search term. (Less time spent thumbing through page by page of newspapers or microfilm is more time spent assisting patrons & working on other projects/programs for the library). The faster & more accurately the library can meet your patrons & community members needs the better the perception of the library. The faster you can find the information they need, the more your staff can be devoted to other projects, and the happier the community is with the services of the library.  The better quality service of the library, the better opportunity for donations from patrons & community members, which allows the library to grow and add more services to the community over time

How do I find funding and grants for local historical preservation projects? 

Preserving our cultural heritage often falls to local communities and groups, with small staffs and even smaller budgets. Cities, counties and community organizations collect records, vital statistics and transactional data that, over the years, tell the story of an era. Previously this data was the purview of a few local historians and government types but, more and more, citizens are recognizing the importance of preserving historical documents for the long term and making them accessible to anyone, anywhere. Funding for these digital conversion projects is scarce and the competition is tough, but it is out there.

Who do I contact to get my community’s history archived and available online?

The newspaper industry in the United States has evolved considerably over the last 300 years. Each development in the typesetting methods, printing process, and paper stock created unique challenges in adapting the digital image of old newspapers to a searchable format.

What is the difference between bi-tonal and grayscale scanning?

When a library or newspaper publisher approaches us to discuss the creation of a digital archive, we field a wide range of questions. Is it best to digitize from microfilm directly? Should we flatbed scan our newspapers? If we digitize how long will this preserve our content? What types of metadata fields should we use? Can we do it ourselves?

Why is OCR so poor on historical newspapers?

The newspaper industry in the United States has evolved considerably over the last 300 years. Each development in the typesetting methods, printing process, and paper stock created unique challenges in adapting the digital image of old newspapers to a searchable format.

What is the IAhistory project?

As Iowans, we believe that the preservation of our collective history is a shared responsibility. We want other like-minded Iowans to join the State Historical Society of Iowa and Advantage in their mission to ensure that Iowa’s “first draft of history” is available for current and future generations.

What is Advantage’s relationship with the State Historical Society of Iowa?

The team at Advantage and the State Historical Society of Iowa have enjoyed a long partnership, and the IAhistory project is an extension of our relationship. Together we will continue in our shared mission of preserving the State Of Iowas “first rough draft of history” as recorded in the hundreds of newspapers published across Iowa over the last 180 years. Learn more about how we will continue our work at the local community level and how Advantage & the State Historical Society Of Iowa will continue to preserve Iowa’s past and ensure it’s future

How can I help support the IAhistory project?

We are always looking more like-minded Iowans to join us in preserving and providing access to our shared history as it was recorded in Iowa’s newspapers ! If you are a publisher, community library, foundation, business, or a person who has interest in ensuring that the history contained in your local community’s newspaper is available to future generations, we encourage you to contact us today.

Where can I find the latest news or announcements?

We want you to connect and collaborate, and we have several ways in which you are able to stay up to date on announcements, company media mentions, articles and more. Follow us on social media, read our blog, and find educational articles on document management and preservation support solutions from our team experts who have over 100 years of combined industry experience

Who is Advantage Records Management & Storage?

Advantage Records Management & Storage provides organizations in Eastern Iowa a solution for the storage & management of physical documents, files, microfilm and electronic media. Operating out of our 80,000 square foot secure records management facility, Advantage is a customer service oriented business. We are NAID certified, assuring that at the end of a document’s lifecycle, it will be destroyed in a secure & confidential manner. We specialize in assisting with compliance of Sarbannes-Oxley, HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, FACTA, PIPEDA & other regulatory requirements.

What is wrong with storing my records in a self storage facility?

Security, privacy, accessibility and cost are the four determinants in keeping records in a self storage, garage type of facility. If a simple lock or padlock is sufficient for your security. If you don’t care who or what may have access to personal, financial and medical information. If accessibility means sending you or one of your employees away from their job to drive across town to dig through your storage area. If you want to spend $80 to $120 a month to store records that could be stored in a secured records center for possibly half that amount…

What security precautions do you take?

We take security very seriously at Advantage. Our facility is equipped with: High/ low temp sensors and card access system on entry doors. All overhead and dock doors are secured, alarmed and under video surveillance. There are glass break detectors all windows, exterior doors, vault and computer server room. We employ motion detectors in the office and warehouse areas, and  video surveillance in the office, warehouse, vault and computer room. There is a line cut monitor w/ radio signal alarm and many other tools and policies in place to ensure your records are safe and secure.

Why should I get my boxes from you?

ARMS supplies one of the industries strongest double sided carton for the storage of your records. These cartons can support 200 lbs of weight on the top of the box. We would be happy to supply these extra strong cartons for your records storage. These cartons can be purchased directly, and will last much longer and be a better value than other single sided cartons.

Is there a size of box you prefer to use?

Yes! While all our boxes are of superior quality, we prefer that clients use our standard 1.2 cubic foot box. Having more boxes will not increase your storage costs since we generally charge by the cubic foot. In addition it is easier for our employees to work with a standard rather than a legal size box and it is healthier for them because it creates less stress on their backs.

 What is a permanent removal fee?

This is a charge by other records centers to keep your records at their facility. It costs you additional money to permanently remove your records from storage from their facility. ARMS has no permanent removal fee! We work hard to keep our customer satisfied with our service, and don’t believe in keeping them by charging extra for exit fees

How can I get back my files/cartons that I need?

You can contact us via phone, fax, e-mail, or request your files directly over the web! Whatever manner you are most comfortable with, you can request your records to be returned directly to you.

Can you destroy my old records?

Yes, we can arrange for the destruction of your records, and supply you with the appropriate “Certificate of Destruction” for your records.

Do you have a documented Media Destruction Procedure?

Advantage has a strict policy to ensure that all data on tapes, optical disks & other removable media is destroyed per client request. Destruction refers to the process of physically damaging a medium so that it is not usable in a computer and so that no known exploitation method can retrieve data from it.

How does Advantage use the Internet?

We supply the people you have assigned with internet access. They will have a user name and a password to sign on, and would have access to the inventory of your records and the ability to request that cartons and/or files be pulled, or picked up. And this is done in “real time”.

Why is “real time” important with your internet services?

When you send an internet order it goes to our server and our program notifies us that an order has been received. Some other records management programs send the orders to their companies computers in Pennsylvania or elsewhere and then back to their clients computers. This not only provides a security issue but also a delay in processing which could be critical for your needs.

Can you help me if a disaster leaves me with out an office?

Yes. We have several “cold site” locations that would allow a company to plug in a personal computer and access the internet, conduct business. This was an extremely valuable service during the flood of 2008, and we were pleased to be able to keep our client’s daily operations running with minimal interruption in services during this catastrophic event.

Who is Advantage Information Management Solutions?

Advantage Information Management Solutions provides document management and imaging solutions to organizations across Eastern Iowa ranging from hospitals & clinics, to universities and school districts. At Advantage 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.

I have multiple users that all may want to access the same piece of information at the same time! How can you help my company?

Advantage Information Management Solutions (AIMS) works with companies to manage just that type of situation. Using digital imaging and scanning technology, AIMS finds solutions for multiple user environments.

I want to go paperless. Can you help me?

Advantage can handle all your digital and analog imaging needs. Advantage Information Management Solutions offers document management solutions for a vast range of clients and requirements. A customized solution is tailored to each client’s need providing electronic images of vital documents, providing instant access to mission critical information.

What is HIPAA and why should I worry about it?

HIPAA is an acronym for the Federal Government’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. which is a federal statute that provides for the development of uniform national health information data and privacy standards. In adopting the Act, Congress determined that the provisions of HIPAA would preempt any contrary state law unless the state law is more stringent than the related provision of HIPAA or unless a specific exception applies. The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (the Privacy Rule) took effect on April 14, 2001. The Privacy Rule creates national standards to protect individuals’ personal health information and gives patients increased access to their medical records.


Advantage provides storage, document management, and preservation support solutions to organizations across the United States. These services include, but are by not means limited to: Archive Inspection & Audit Services, Records Management & Storage, HIPAA Compliant Records Management, HIPAA Compliant Document Management, Digitization of Microfilm, Hosted Imaging Solutions, Secure Vault Storage, Document Destruction & Shredding, Digital Storage & Access Solutions, Microfilm Storage, Large Format Document Scanning, and Digital Archive Hosting.


Advantage is proud of the comprehensive offering of services and solutions we offer to organizations in Iowa and across the United States. We are pleased to serve: State & Local Governments, Libraries & Historical Societies, Newspaper Publishers, Health Care Institutions, Educational Institutions, Transportation & Logistics Organizations, State Historical Societies, Manufacturers, Legal Professionals, and many more.

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