When You Digitize, You Open Up A Portal To The Past By

Providing Practical Access To Content On Microfilm

Microfilm Digitization

Microfilm digitization is the key to unlocking content that is not currently accessible in a practical way. Patrons that visit your institution will have a powerful tool can save time by searching through your community’s history by name, date-range, keywords, publication, or location…and not limited to a reel at a time, or if a microfilm reader is occupied (or operational!). Advantage Preservation offers a user friendly digital solution to research your materials via our Community History Archives hosted solution.

After we digitize the microfilm, we use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to create a searchable database, create an 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. This literally puts your community’s history at their fingertips.

Just ask Melinda Krick, editor of The Paulding Progress: “I’ve used it several times already, and it’s truly amazing what you can find. I’ve searched some personal family history/genealogy items as well as information for work. It’s helpful that there’s 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 productive. I have the site bookmarked on my computer!”

Striking A Balance Between Quality, Quantity, & Value

Three Fillmore County’s libraries combined both efforts & funding to bring Fillmore County’s newspapers to everyone via a county-wide digitization project.

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a few local historians and government types but, more and more, citizens are recognizing the importance of preserving historical documents for the long term and making them accessible to anyone, anywhere.

We understand 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 has been in newspaper and historical preservation services in our libraries.  The cuts have been deep, and in many cases, these institutions have been left behind. Funding for digital conversion projects is scarce and the competition is tough, but it is out there. Our goal is to ensure that a model exists to make those limited funds as impactful as possible.

To achieve our goal, we have embraced the idea that preserving history is a shared responsibility. We partner with local community publishers, libraries, and other like minded individuals to make local content more accessible, now and in the future.

The "Three Legs"

Typically we find our partners are interested in getting the best return on the funding that is available to them. More specifically, the best balance of quality and quantity that can stretch the budget. We have a “3 legged stool” approach: Quality, Quantity, & Value. If any one of these three factors is given more priority than the other two, the stool becomes wobbly, and can tip over. Decisions must be made as where to make concessions, and either image quality, the number of images produced, or the ability to keep the project under budget will suffer. Our process ensures that you don’t have to sacrifice when building your digital archive.

Caribou Library Director and an assistant carefully turn through the pages of 19th century newspaper, before being preserved on microfilm, digitized, and made publicly available online.

Our team will work with you every step of the way in the creation of your Community History Archive – delivering you a valuable asset that you are proud to share with your patrons and community. We will help guide all the parties in finding funding, ensuring all copyright laws are being followed, the content is properly preserved, and the collection properly reflects the community’s commitment to preserving the past.

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.

16MM Microfilm, Microfiche, Aperture Cards, and More

In addition to the 35MM preservation microfilming conversions we are recognized for, we offer many options for conversion of most other types of microforms to digital image, placing us in a unique position to handle any digitization from film project.  We have experience with newspapers, books, maps, blueprints and almost any other microfiche documents needing digital conversion.

Although similar to microfilm roll scanning, microfiche images must be individually scanned, and the conversion requires more time than roll film. Each microfiche card can vary in format, and number of images. We convert jacketed fiche filmed at various reduction ratios in both simplex and duplex modes.  Multiple reduction ratios can exist on one fiche. We process large single-image fiche containing maps or other large graphic images in grayscale, color or black and white.  We process Computer Output Microfiche and film (COM) containing standardized grids including ultra high reduction ratios.

Our business to business conversion services for micrographics are a natural extension of our preservation microfilming services, and are unmatched by any service provider in the country – the result of years of working with micrographic media of all types, and the foundation Advantage was built on.

Choosing A New Vendor

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.

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

What Are The Advantages Of Digitization?

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.

Read about a few of the more compelling reasons to digitize:

The 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 online access  to their community’s history, and are pleased that they have joined in the cause to ensure that documents from the past are accessible in the present, and available in the future. In addition to our existing relationships with community newspapers and public libraries, we continue to enter into new partnerships 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.

Libraries & Historical Societies

The Advantage Preservation 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

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.

 

Learn More

Are You Exploring Options To Make Your Records More Accessible? Contact Us Today. We Want Help You Find A Solution!

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