Advantage is a proud partner of city, county, & state government agencies, archives, historical societies & state libraries across the county
One of the hardest-hit areas in city, county, and state budget cuts have been in newspaper and historic preservation services, and the modernization of records management methodologies. Municipalities, county government offices, and especially in state libraries and historical societies feel this pain. The cuts have been severe, and in many cases, these institutions suffer. We are pleased to be working with recorders, treasurers, assessors, police departments, departments of transportation, planning, and any paper-intensive government agency that requires their records are not only preserved but completely accessible. We are especially proud of our partnerships with State Historical Societies and libraries to help ease the burden of their filming backlog, and in turn, are helping local libraries that are running out of shelf space with newspapers waiting for the film to arrive.
Advantage has been a valuable partner for the scanning needs of the Linn County Treasurer’s office for many years. 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 Treasurer
The Advantage Archives team will work with any agency or department to customize a plan that will work in conjunction with current budget restraints and as a complement to their existing operations. Our goal is to partner closely with these institutions to continue to provide services and overcome limitations. Our current partnerships with several state-level agencies have proven to offer MORE services at even LESS cost, allowing the reduced budgets to stretch even further and those funds applied to other areas of need. Our partnerships are not only complementary to these agencies but often increased service is seamless.
Digitization Equates To More Efficiency And Accessibility
Advantage understands that preservation is only 1/2 of the equation. You need to consider accessibility to your valuable content. Advantage offers a user-friendly digital solution to research your materials via any document management system or utilizing our Community History Archive platform for a free hosted solution. Advantage digitizes records, plat books, maps, newspaper pages, meeting minutes, or documents. After the source material is digitized, we apply OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to the digital image. We create the XML and derivative files, index, and ingest the images for hosting on the Community History Archive portal. Your patrons can browse, search, view, clip, and share articles and pages from your community’s history.
Our solutions provide greater efficiencies and less burden in fulfilling requests, performing research, and providing answers to inquiries that save both you and your patrons time and effort. Quickly search through your database by name, date range, keywords, etc…without the inconvenience (and expensive) of dealing with a microfilm reader, cabinets of paper documents, boxes of records, or shelves of bound volumes.
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 Preservation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. ~Shane Molander at the State Historical Society of North Dakota
We pride ourselves in our consultative approach and fully recognize the importance of fast and practical access to agency documents and their impact in the day-to-day operations as well as long term retention & access. It doesn’t matter if you engage Advantage in digital conversion of day-forward records, back-files, or as part of a preservation initiative, we apply the same care and quality to every piece of paper or photographic material we touch. 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 partner’s needs are somewhat different, even within the same agency, department, and application area.
Advantage and the State Historical Society have already partnered on several preservation projects since 2011. But the new agreement clears the way for Advantage technicians to increase and accelerate the preservation of newspapers dating back to 1837, all of which have been gathered from communities and publishers statewide. Starting this spring, the newspapers stored at the State Historical Building in Des Moines will be transported to Advantage’s secure 80,000-square-foot records-management facility in Cedar Rapids. Technicians will first photograph the pages onto microfilm (which remains the gold standard for newspaper preservation) and then digitally scan the microfilm to provide wider access to the public. Advantage will take similar steps in the future with newspapers at the State Historical Society’s Centennial Building in Iowa City. ~Taken From The Press Release Issued By Iowa Department Of Cultural Affairs February 15, 2017
Spotlighting A Few Of Our Library Partners:
Looking For A New Partner? Do Your Homework!
We have had many recent conversations with librarians, newspaper publishers, and state entities who are deeply concerned with their current microfilm preservation companies. Several institutions have also been subject to an interruption in service when a large national microfilm provider recently ceased operations. There are many individuals just like you, searching for websites just like this, trying to figure out what their options are.
There is understandable stress when selecting a new vendor. Consideration must be given to preservation budgets, about providing excellent 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 well do you understand the needs of our library and community?
Can you preserve and provide practical access to all of the newspaper titles printed in our community? Will you make recommendations as to the best research experience for that content? Will 0ur account manager take an interest in my community’s history? Will you consult with us on best practices for storing and viewing our film? Do you understand which documents are essential to our community, and advise us on how to make them widely accessible to our patrons?
Are you a “vendor,” a “service provider,” or a collaborative partner?
Can you tell me how you plan to collaborate with us to understand, develop, and execute on preservation and access strategy? Are you selling a product, a service, or a commodity, or are you taking a role as a partner that will work with us towards a common goal? How can I be sure if you will make the right partner? How do I know that you won’t prioritize your company’s strategic goals and profits ahead of our needs or our budget? How can you assure me that I have evaluated the proper comprehensive solution, and I am not just subscribing to a service or tool? Will you look at custom preservation and access strategies that fit our exact situation, or do you offer a “one size fits all” approach?
Do you have a digital offering to complement our preservation efforts?
Do you have the knowledge to help build a digital archive? Can you explain the benefits and shortcomings of digitization of our records, and how will we know when microfilm is a better option than digital, and vice-versa? What is your role once the archive is created?
Can you help with other projects?
Can you assist in preserving and providing access to other historical records such as directories, yearbooks, maps, and my community’s other historic documents? Will you help build a preservation program to protect and provide practical access to our old records, genealogy books, or anything else that might be of interest to our community?
What are your microfilming quality standards?
Do you understand that adequately preserving a newspaper (and the other documents that tell the story of our community’s past) requires care and precision? Do you exclusively capture papers and documents to 35mm silver-halide master microfilm for 500-year preservation? Do you strictly adhere to ANSI and AIIM standards? Do you audit the density, reduction ratios, and clarity of your film? Can you provide details as to your quality control process? Will you keep me informed as to where and under what conditions your microfilm is produced? Can you provide me with a sample?
How will my master microfilm be stored?
Can you tell me about your microfilm storage facility? How can I be assured my microfilm masters are appropriately stored in a humidity-and-temperature controlled environment? Are duplications made from this master microfilm, or will you be using our service copy that may inherit any issues with clarity and readability? Do you offer any auditing services for my collection? What environmental testing do you do to address the problems like containment mitigation, air quality, and isolation of “at-risk” film from contagious conditions like vinegar syndrome or redox?
Are your prices fair?
No, follow up questions needed, you will know.
If you do not feel your current provider can or is willing to answer the questions above, or you suddenly find yourself without 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 the current treatment of publishers and libraries. We have designed a preservation solution with clear and open answers to all the above questions. Our dedication dictates our approach to quality and a focus on marketing your history. We designed our program to care for newspaper publishers and libraries equally.
Please remember to contact your current vendor to make sure they are taking care of your history
We truly value our long standing partnerships with libraries and publishers, in communities across the United States. We have been privileged to help them preserve, and provide online access to their community’s history, and are pleased that they share our mission to ensure that documents from the past are accessible in the present, and available in the future. We also work with museums, historical societies, genealogical societies, colleges, universities, and more, to provide Document Imaging, Preservation Microfilming Services, Microform Scanning, Digital Archive Hosting, and Document Management Solutions.
The Advantage Archives team has been partnering with libraries, colleges, and historical societies to preserve their local history one community at a time. We take great pride in our work to preserve the past, make it accessible in the present, and ensure its future…..and it all starts with converting local historical newspapers and other documents onto 35mm Silver Halide Microfilm, It is critical to protect the valuable printed content, from the ravages of time. Our internal microfilm standards exceed ANSI/AIIM standards for microfilm preservation.
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 qualifying publishing partners. The papers will be shipped to our facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where they will be handled with care.
Qualifying publishers will also enjoy a revenue sharing opportunity on the content sold on a subscription basis to the interested libraries . 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 merely the custodian of the publisher’s intellectual property.
The 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 document imaging and historic document preservation services in our government libraries, historical societies, archives, & other agencies. Often the cuts have been deep, and in many cases, these institutions have been under funded, or no longer receive funding at all. We have developed several service offering and solutions in the wake of the ongoing budget cuts and resource allocations…many provided at no cost to the state or its tax payers.
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 college & university libraries, K-12 schools, & other educational 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.
Whether your document is a day old or 200 years old, we have the technology, experience, and expertise to provide your library, historical societies, museums, and other institutions, with archiving and access options. We developed our solutions to fit your institution’s unique needs and budget restrictions. We specialize in Document Imaging, Preservation Microfilming Services, Microform Scanning, Digital Archive Hosting, and Document Management Solutions. We partner with libraries & historical societies just like yours to preserve their community’s past, make accessible in the present, and available in the future.
The history recorded in the documents from communities across the country is invaluable. Newspapers, atlases, almanacs, personal journals, directories, government documents, and even yearbooks can put historical events in perspective and allow us to view those events through the lens of someone who was there and witnessed “history as it happened.” It also allows us to connect to our past in a real and tangible way. This cultural asset must be protected and preserved so future generations can have access to the documents that would otherwise be lost to the erosion of time if they remained on fragile paper. The only true way to ensure its survival is through microfilming.
A digital archive allows you to give your historical documents a new life, and give your community an easy-to-use resource, by converting your local newspaper microfilm, and other historical documents, to a fully-searchable digital archive. The Community History Archives serve as a practical means to explore and discover content that was not easily accessible before. Preserving the historical content on microfilm ensures that the “first rough draft of history” is available for future generations. Using digitization as a supplement (not a replacement) to your long term archival strategy, it opens up a genuine way for the members of your community to connect with their history.
The content contained on paper documents give a firsthand account and informs our perspective of history, that shaped not only your community, but also your state, and the nation from a local perspective. Although historical newspaper imaging is our specialty, we have an equal passion for all historical documents, including vital records, family bibles, transcripts, journals, and more. All documents and fragile papers are evaluated and processed to assure proper care and accurate conversion. Our experience covers a broad range of document types from a few days, a few years, or even 300 years ago. All phases of the archival document imaging process, such as preparation, document scanning, document indexing, etc., are managed effectively by the experienced team at Advantage. We work closely with our clients through the entire lifecycle of the project utilizing proven project management and preservation methodologies.
Historical preservation is far from our only area of expertise! Our dedicated commercial document imaging solution division AdvantageIMS is dedicated to providing solutions for more documents critical to your business or organization. Archiving and retrieving information may not be your core competency. It is ours. We provide solutions tailored to your specific requirements. Advantage Archives’ commercial division has provided document management solutions for many years. We pride ourselves on 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.
The State Historical Society of North Dakota & Advantage Archives Partner to Digitize North Dakota History
By: Matt Kiley - Advantage Archives
The State Historical Society of North Dakota has partnered with Advantage Preservation to explore a sustained newspaper digitization plan that provides easy search-ability and is free to all users.
Deputy State Archivist for the State Historical Society of North Dakota Shane Molander outlined the need for additional digitization in October on statemuseum.nd.gov. Chronicling America is a valuable online newspaper resource but includes only select newspapers before 1964, a fraction of the collection currently on microfilm. You can now search or browse over 140,000 pages, telling the story of Divide County over the last 114 years, at the Divide County Public Library’s Community History Archive: dcl.advantage-preservation.com/
Advantage offers a digitization solution for word-searchable digital newspapers at affordable prices for libraries, historical societies, and other organizations. With the blessing of the North Dakota Newspaper Association, we are partnering with local groups and newspaper publishers interested in having their publication online and searchable. Advantage has already created several websites for clients in North Dakota with communities across the state involved in doing the same.
The Community History Archives are user-friendly and easy to learn. We focused on making it as simple as possible so that everyone, from students to grandparents (and everyone 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.