Libraries, Museums & Historical Societies

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 mission to preserve the past, make it accessible in the present, and ensure its future…..and it all starts with converting local historical newspapers, pictures, books, maps, and other documents onto 35mm Silver Halide Microfilm, and provide practical digital access to the content that was previously available only in a limited format. It is critical to protect the valuable printed content, from the ravages of time. and equally important is the ability for our communities to connect to their past through digital access.

Through a collaborative approach, we will partner with your institution, your local publisher, and other like minded individuals in your community, to ensure that the “first rough draft of history” is both archived AND accessible, with our microfilm and digital offerings.

Our Community History Archives give your library the tools and to provide access to the deep and rich history each of their communities that was printed in the newspapers and other records and documents of the day. These pages, when stitched together, tell the story of the people, places, and events that shaped your community. Your library can then offer a “portal to the past”, allowing those primary source documents to give an accounting of history as told by the individuals that witnessed it. Together we can  put history at the fingertips of anyone who is interested, and connect the community to their past in a very tangible and meaningful way.

Microfilm Subscriptions

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a few local historians and government types but, more and more, citizens are recognizing the importance of preserving historical documents for the long term and making them accessible to anyone, anywhere.

Subscriptions to newspaper microfilm from Advantage Archives can be as much as 40% less than you are currently paying to your current vendor.  We partner with several libraries and historical societies on microfilming and preserving their historical documents, and they have become close friends over the years. We understand the challenges.  We know the budgets you face, and with Advantage you will receive high quality film at a greatly reduced price compared to other service providers. All film is produced in the United States, and original materials will never leave our secure facility. There are no long term contracts to sign.  We are very confident that you will be satisfied with our service.

  • We offer digital access to the content on the microfilm, allowing your organization to store those reels for preservation purposes and ensuring history is not only preserved for future generations, but also easily accessible to the current one.
  • We will work with you and your community’s publisher to find a solution that satisfies all parties, is in compliance with all copyright laws, and respects the intellectual property of the rights holder.
  • Your microfilm will be produced in a timely fashion after receiving the newspapers, and if there is a delay for any reason (missing issues, ect.) you will be notified immediately.
  • Our internal microfilm standards exceed ANSI/AIIM standards for microfilm preservation.
  • Microfilm subscriptions from Advantage are often significantly less than our competitors

The Community History Archives

At Advantage Archives, we understand that preservation is only 1/2 of the equation. Once your materials are protected on microfilm, you need to consider accessibility to the valuable content. Advantage offers a user friendly digital solution to research your materials via our  Community History Archive  hosted solution. After we digitize the newspaper pages, we OCR (Optical Character Recognition), index and host the images on a portal where your patrons can browse, search, view, clip, and share articles and pages from your community’s history.

Researchers and Genealogists that visit your institution can save time by searching through your database by name, date range, key words, etc…without the expense of purchasing or upkeep of a microfilm reader. Hundreds of the communities we work with from coast to coast,  feel the same way. The have embraced viewing their community’s history through the lens of those who witnessed it first hand.

Partnering With Communities To Provide A "Portal To The Past"

Historical newspapers and documents provide the first draft of our communities history and they not only need to be preserved, but made easily accessible. You might be evaluating the advantages of digitizing this historic content once it is preserved on microfilm. We have received this question asked by library directors many times. The answers very from community to community to some degree, but the deciding factors in the decision making process often come down to: It will same time, improve research accuracy, protect the preservation copy, save money on physical replacements, & creating a valuable community asset.

The Community History Archives are designed to be powerful, but not intimidating. It needs 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 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.

The platform is intended to serve as a “portal to the past”, allowing those primary source documents to give an accounting of history as told by the individuals that witnessed it. The pages in an archive, when stitched together, tell the story of the people, places, and events that shaped the community.

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

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

Upon completion of your archive, our team will provide you with access to tracking tools so you can track the usage of your database for your end of the year reporting. Our team will continue to improve and update your database as technology changes.

Our approach results in a keyword searchable Community History Archive, that provides a high return rate on keywords, a browse-able index, online (or in-house) availability, and the tools to explore, discover, and share content in ways not possible when it only existed as microfilm… all at a per image cost that allows archives to be built within almost any budget.

Spotlighting A Few Of Our Library Partners:

CHA PartnersCommunity History ArchivesDigitization PartnersIllinoisMichelle MaltasSpotlight
August 6, 2019

Spotlight: The Stark County Genealogical Society in Toulon, IL

Read All About It: The Stark County Genealogical SocietyBy: Jeffrey Kiley - Advantage Archives The Stark County Genealogical Society’s Community History Archive features The Stark County News (from 1857-1984 and...
CHA PartnersGrant KaestnerRhode IslandSpotlight
July 11, 2019

Spotlight: The Pawtucket Public Library – Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Read All About It: The Pawtucket Public LibraryBy: Jeffrey Kiley - Advantage Archives The Pawtucket Public Library provides access to the rich history of Pawtucket and the surrounding areas thanks...
July 2, 2019

Spotlight: Marshall Public Library (Idaho)

Spotlight: Marshall Public Library (Idaho) 0 Located in historic Old Town Pocatello, Idaho, the Marshall Public Library has been serving the Pocatello community for over 100 years. Advantage has partnered...
CHA PartnersCommunity History ArchivesDigitization PartnersGrant KaestnerMaineSpotlight
May 3, 2019

Spotlight: The Old Town Public Library

Read All About It: The Old Town Public LibraryBy: Jeffrey Kiley - Advantage Archives The library has unlocked Old Town's history with access to over 130 years of local newspapers, yearbooks,...

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. Needless to say, 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 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 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 important 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 a good 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 compliment 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 after the archive has been built?

Can you help on other projects?  

Can you assist in preserving and providing access to other historical records such as directories, yearbooks, maps, and my community’s other historical documents? Will you help build a preservation program to protect and provide practical access to our old documents, genealogy books, or anything else that might be of interest to our community?

What are your microfilming quality standards? 

Do you understand that properly preserving a newspaper (and the other documents that tell the story of our community’s past) requires care and precision? Do you exclusively capture newspapers 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 our film is being created? Can you provide me with a sample?

How will my master microfilm be stored?

Can you tell me about you microfilm storage facility? How can I be assured my microfilm masters are stored properly, in a humidity-and-temperature controlled environment? Will duplications be made 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 issues 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 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.

Please remember to contact your current vendor to make sure they are taking care of your history

Solutions We Offer

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. Our solutions are designed 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.

Preservation Microfilming Services

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 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.

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Digital Archive Hosting

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 historic 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 very real way for the members of your community to connect with their history.

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Document Imaging

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 equal passion for all historic 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.

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Information Management Solutions

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 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 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.

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More Markets We Serve

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.

Newspaper Publishers

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.

Government Agencies

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.

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 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.

Commercial Markets

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.

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Connect Your Community To Its History! Explore A Partnership With Advantage & Discover “History As it Happened “. Use the form below to connect with us, and let’s discuss way’s we can ensure your local history is easily accessible!