We Are Advantage
Making History Accessible to Anyone from Anywhere
We work to build partnerships with community leaders to preserve and digitize history in order to make it discoverable and easily accessible to anyone, anywhere, and allow communities to understand and connect to their past in a meaningful way. Through preservation microfilming, we ensure your past has a future and with digitization make it easily accessible in the present.
Our Mission is the preservation of the past as told by the individuals that witnessed it. By digitizing historical documents we make history easily accessible to anyone, allowing communities to understand and connect to their past in a meaningful way.
What We Do
We build strong community-based partnerships to preserve and provide free online access to local history. Microfilm, newspapers, books, and documents are digitized and hosted in a Community History Archive, an online search platform where your community’s historical content will always be freely available from anywhere.
How We Do It
We provide archival microfilming services to preserve a community’s past and digitize historical collections and documents of all kinds to make them practical to access in the present. We collaborate with communities across the United States to create free digital access to historical newspaper collections, photos, genealogy books, magazines, yearbooks, vital records, and other documents of significance.
"I just wanted to thank your system for the wonderful resources that are free to use. Today, I found new addresses for my grandparents and great-grandparents, my grandparents wedding announcement and who attended the small party that was held later for them. I also learned that my great-grandmother, having just gained the right to vote, attended classes to learn how to exercise that right. Then I found that--new to me--that the G-Grands had moved to Pittsburgh, but returned to visit Canton families over the years. They continued to visit after they moved to Washington, DC.
Our archives are an important part of community history. They help us understand events in our community’s history, and help us understand the 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
Local history is important to our community, and having resources available online, has opened access to documents that are fragile, and in need of preservation. Having a digitized archive has made finding relevant material much more efficient, and enabled us to integrate multiple resources within one search. Our community history archive has allowed us to serve a global audience, rather than just those individuals who walk through our doors. Digitized resources are invaluable, and we plan to continue to add resources to our Community History Archive each year
We have newspapers on microfilm dating back from 1869. There is quite a lot of information in this collection from the local newspapers, but putting them in digital form is exciting for us and is something not very many libraries are capable of right now. The very idea that the entire collection would be made available for free access to anyone anywhere is amazing
The history of Dryden is so fascinating, There’s so many little stories, so many people – the amazing people that came through here and settled this area and created the village, the industry and the library itself. It’s just fascinating. And knowing those stories aren’t just buried in the newspaper or lost, or stuck on microfilm, and now are accessible, is just huge. When we know where we’ve been, where we came from, I think we can create a better future for Dryden. It’s such a wonderful village. The people are involved and care about it. So anything we can do to solidify the foundation is priceless
Right now, if you want to read those old newspapers, you have to go to the libraries or the museums to read the microfilms, which is not very accessible. With the digitization project, any student who is doing a history project, or anyone who is interested, can type in the keywords, a certain date and see the newspapers from their home, library, school or wherever they are. It will be accessible to everyone.
A newspaper is a journal of the life of a people, in the case of the Messenger, the life of the people of the Diocese of Davenport. So it is important that the Messenger be preserved. This new digital archive will make it easily accessible and preserve it for generations to come
We get a lot of requests from people to find information in the old local newspapers we have on microfilm, the issue we have is, if the person doesn’t have a good idea of the date or a fairly limited date range for us to search, with our staff, it’s just not practical for us. It’s amazing how much more valuable this tool is for making that history and information so accessible to everybody
The digital archives of the Ida Grove Library is a fantastic resource for library staff, patrons and visitors. Having a searchable online database of newspapers allows us to quickly find information that would have normally taken hours of searching microfilm rolls, we can now do this in a matter of minutes
While it was great that patrons could come in and search the microfilm in house, it wasn’t searchable in a real efficient way, we now have an online searchable index of every paper since 1895
We have been working towards this historic archive since the technology was introduced many years ago. It has been a long-time vision to provide online access to our microfilmed newspaper collection. This project aligns with the Board of Trustee’s Strategic Plan which focuses on five areas, one of which is Discover Your Roots: Genealogy and Local History
We receive many requests that come to the library from people who are searching for information, and without exact newspaper dates, it can be difficult to find what they are looking for. By digitizing the collection — It will have a keyword search, so people should have a much easier time finding all kinds of old stories, obituaries, ads and whatever else they might be searching for that ran on the pages of the newspaper through the years
In the past we would have been totally reliant on an outside vendor to provide access to this important historical archive. This allows us to make these items available through our website to anyone who needs them at no additional future cost
We are so excited to make our history available to residents both young and old, and to tell our story to the rest of the state, country, and world. What started out as a small project has gotten bigger with additional communities in our area all eager to participate. With the help of two large grants, the cost to our communities will be minimal and the benefits will be great
It’s been rewarding to observe patrons’ faces, as they express their delight in finding a missing piece of whatever puzzle they were researching. We hear many “guess what I found?” stories. People often find family tree information, connections for reunions, or reminiscing about their high school sports records
Advantage’s approach is scalable as a comprehensive project not only for Iowa, but for any community across the country. We’re appreciative of Advantage’s approach and understanding for the value of the archive and their willingness to work as true partners
It’s truly amazing what you can find. I’ve searched some personal family history/genealogy items and information for work. It’s helpful that there are different ways to narrow a search, such as choosing specific newspapers or choosing a particular decade. The matches by decade can be interesting because you can see the time frame where your search item has the most “hits.” So many times we’ve tried to research something, and it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack unless you had a date to go by. This makes research so much easier and more productive. I have the site bookmarked on my computer!
You can go online and search for anything in those papers, and you can even crop sections, add notations, and save it as a digital image instead of taking out a newspaper from 1926. Archivists know it’s not the newspaper that’s valuable, but the content in that paper. We have a number of publications we can’t even bring out of the box because they’re just falling apart
Having a primary resource is an invaluable way to get details and day-to-day information from the time period. Using a resource published after the fact is more of a review. Plus, newspapers have so much more information that you end up finding things you weren’t looking for
Our Community History Archive has opened a window to things. You can uncover so much more, and so much more efficiently. Historic research is hard, going through newspaper after newspaper on a microfilm machine — your eyes miss things. This archive is going to help immensely
Our Community History Archive is a valuable research tool for our Moline community because it saves the time of the researcher and makes “lost things found. One example, in working on a collaborative project with a local museum for the upcoming 100th Anniversary of Suffrage in the United States, I found sample ballots for a local election—the men’s ballot and the women’s ballot from 1919. Illinois allowed women to vote in 1891 for school officials and by 1913, Governor Edward Dunne signed the Illinois suffrage bill
We are excited that this project will unlock a significant source of local history for casual and serious researchers and genealogists, and perhaps even students in local schools
Free to users, the Advantage Community History Archive is incredibly user-friendly with a wonderful search engine and clipping tool that saves the newspaper source and info. It has easier and better searching than even some of the huge paid online sites. I love how it can highlight articles you have already viewed, which is enormously helpful when returning to a search of hundreds of articles on the same computer later so you don’t lose your place
We love having our digital archives available and free to anyone through Advantage Archives. We have received great feedback from our patrons and even from across the country of how grateful everyone is for this resource for genealogy and history research. Staff has also found it a great time saver when more in-depth research is needed, by allowing us to search more uncommon requests easily and quickly
Sometimes, a person will come to us and say, ‘I know my aunt died in 1936 but I don’t know the right date.’ So you’re searching for the reel, looking for the right one… you can never be 100 percent sure you missed it. We could be more accurate and more timely and give people exactly what they want, rather than close to it
Many states participating in the National Digital Newspaper Project, or Chronicling America, have had additional newspapers beyond this project digitized. One vendor that caught our interest while researching our own such project is Advantage Archives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They contracted with the Divide County Public Library to digitize the area newspapers from microfilm created by the North Dakota State Archives. Being a Divide County native, it certainly captured my interest as I was able to search for relatives — and even myself!
Our Community History Archive is a valuable tool for preserving and celebrating the past and guiding the future. Having access to information about the heritage of our town is important for determining our place in that continuing narrative, helping create meaning and a dynamic sense of community identity
Our Community History Archive is a valuable asset for anyone, because it is readily available to anyone with or without a library card. We are very pleased with the services offered by Advantage Archives. It has helped us to offer a valuable resource and service to our community
Our partnership with Advantage Archives has benefited us in two very important ways: 1) our print copies are no longer subject to so much physical handling, and 2) our collections are now visible and usable online so that visitors no longer have to travel long distances to view the materials on site
Our Community History Archive aligns directly with the portion of our mission that states that the public library will “maintain and improve the quality of life for all citizens of our community by providing resources and programs that enhance and contribute to individual knowledge, enlightenment, and enjoyment in the most efficient manner possible.” What could be a more efficient method to access information than a digitized collection?
This is the first time that people can access these old newspapers without microfilm or online newspapers by subscription. This is a gift from our organizations to this community.
We live in a time where people have come to expect that the vast majority of information that they are seeking can be found quickly through online searches. However extremely specific questions like those we see with local history questions don’t lend themselves to successful “Google” searches. By providing access to this material online we’re contributing to our mission to provide material to our patrons in the manner and fashion that they now perform their research
I think one of the things we enjoy most about the digital archive is the people we come into contact with. We receive calls from all over the country looking for information, mostly genealogy questions. Helping them find their answers is always a lot of fun and we get to share in their discoveries. People are always so grateful that the information is available
Our Community History Archive has given the local community easier access to the history they want. By digitizing the local newspapers, people can search for specific things rather than just browsing the microfilm. This increases the success rate of finding what content they are looking for. They may even find content they didn’t even know existed. Even if specifics are unknown, browsing is made easier as well with the digital format.
Our Community History Archive is a resource that allows the library to work towards its mission of providing materials, programming, and other services. It’s just one of the services offered to the community, whether it’s within the walls of the library or accessed remotely.
Our digital collection of historic Moline newspapers connects our community to events that impact and transform their lives. It makes history come to life. People can fill in missing pieces from their memories.
The earliest records of the history of our community are found in the newspapers, That’s really what we want, is we want people to be able to go out and find these old newspapers, and search through and find out where we came from, and how we got to be where we are today.
You’ve given us wonderful fund-raising ideas but even more importantly, you’ve provided 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 preserve our local history, and it is just fun to browse old local newspapers. Thank you for all you do to make us look good!
I want to tell you how excited we are with our digitization of our old newspapers. 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
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
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!”
We think this new website is so easy to use, and our county school teachers and students will also find it useful when doing local history projects
Newspapers preserve the history of our communities. We have had very consistent usage of the Jefferson newspaper archive… and statistics also show usage from all other states and many other countries. We have always wanted to expand this resource to include resources that represent the history of the whole county
This project has been on my personal bucket list for years. The bound copies dating back to the 1880s are so fragile, they were literally falling apart and we couldn’t allow anyone to use them. Now with the newspapers searchable online, our history is preserved in a digital format that won’t crumble or be lost,
Searching for information on the archive website is similar to searching for information on Google. Enter a name or keyword in the search field, and all the instances that name or keyword appears in all of these resources will be listed as search results. You can narrow down the results by date and resource and also print, email or save the articles you find
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.
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,
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!
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!
Larry Eckhardt from Advantage Companies 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 the Advantage Company because of Mr. Eckhardt’s quality service. We are also very happy with the quality of the digital images produced by the Advantage Company.
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!
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! 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!
We are so pleased with the outcome of the project. It was a pleasure to work with you from the start. I have been contacted by other genealogy societies in the state regarding how it is done and about your firm, so you may eventually have more Nebraska newspapers to digitize. I truly appreciate all the work that went into making this possible. Thanks so much.
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.”
So happy we went with Advantage!!
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!”
“Larry, 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!”
- Community History Archives
- Advantage Preservation
- Information Management Solutions
Community History Archives
Bringing The Past Into The Present
The Community History Archive team partners with communities across the United States to provide access to their local history at any time, from anywhere, by anyone, for free. The Community History Archive is designed to be powerful but not intimidating. We knew that this online search platform needed to be friendly, intuitive, and easy to learn. Advantage has focused on making it as simple as possible so that everyone, from students to grandparents (and anyone in between), can browse, search, view, clip, and share articles, headlines, pages, and stories recorded in the pages of the community newspaper. Just type a search and hit “enter” or browse to a specific year, month, day, or page in any (or all) publications contained in the archive.
Intended to serve as a “portal to the past,” our platform allows those primary source documents to give an accounting of history as told by the individuals that witnessed it. When stitched together, these pages tell the story of the people, places, and events that shaped the community.
We Are Preserving The Past, Ensuring It Has A Future
At Advantage Archives, we fully recognize that the history recorded in the pages of a community’s newspaper and other local primary sources is invaluable. It allows us to put historical events in perspective and 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 objectively and tangibly. The Advantage Preservation division of Advantage Archives will partner with your community to ensure this local history is protected and preserved so future generations can have access to the “first draft of history.”
The only correct way to ensure its survival is through microfilming. Advantage Preservation prides itself not only on meeting but exceeding ANSI/AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management) standards for archival microfilming and specifications developed by the Research Libraries Group (RLG) by the Library of Congress. Our process requires stringent adherence to our internal guidelines regarding the production and examination of all archival microfilm and well-controlled storage and handling conditions.
We also offer microfilm duplication, microfilm inspection, as well as re-mastering of “at-risk” film that has been contaminated by redox or vinegar syndrome. We use the only proven long-term preservation method for newspaper preservation, microfilming onto silver halide 35MM archival quality film. This polyester-based microfilm is the only medium currently recommended for archival microfilming. This stable and durable 35MM microfilm has a life expectancy of over 500 years under the proper storage and handling conditions. We only employ ultrasonic welds for all splices. All of the preservation microfilm produced by Advantage Preservation is wound on inert plastic reels and stored in acid-free, lignin storage boxes. We maintain a dedicated microfilm storage vault with constant temperature control, humidity management, flat archival storage, and pollution filtration to maintain maximum quality.
In addition to our dedication to archival preservation, we also understand the need for accessibility. Advantage Preservation will digitize your newspaper or historical document to produce a comprehensive, keyword searchable, digital archive for use in your institution, organization, or website.
Information Management Solutions
Solutions For Documents Old Or New
The Advantage Information Management Solutions (AIMS) team provides comprehensive document imaging and microform digitization solutions to government agencies, educational institutions, manufacturing companies, businesses, and organizations. We pride ourselves on our consultative approach and fully recognize the importance of fast and practical access to business-critical documents and their impact on your bottom line. We listen to your needs and requirements and design a solution specific to your organization. We do not have an “out-of-the-box” approach to digital conversions. Our experience substantiates the common-sense premise that every client’s needs are somewhat different, even within the same industry, government agency, and application area. As a result, every Advantage IMS project is custom-built to specific client requirements.