With A Life Expectancy Of 5 Centuries, Microfilm Remains
The Archival Standard For Document Preservation
- Preservation Microfilming
- Newspaper Conversion
- Microfilm Storage
- Inspection & Audit Services
- Choosing A New Vendor
- Quality Standards
- Certified FujiFilm Lab
Preservation Microfilming Services
We use the only proven long term preservation method for newspaper & document preservation, microfilming on to silver halide 35MM archival quality film. This polyester based microfilm is the only medium currently recommended for preservation microfilming. This stable and durable medium has a life expectancy of over 500 years under the proper storage and handling conditions.
Advantage Preservation prides itself not only meeting, but exceeding ANSI/AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management) standards for archival microfilming, as well as specifications once developed by the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and guidelines written by the National Archives, as wells as the Library of Congress. This requires stringent adherence to internal Advantage Preservation guidelines regarding the careful production and examination of all archival microfilm, in addition to well controlled storage and handling conditions.
We have experience and expertise in the care, handling, and archiving of a vast array of or original printed materials, including:
- Historical Newspapers
- Diaries & Personal Journals
- Books & Printed Literature
- Genealogical Research
- Immigration Records
- Military Records
- Vital Statistics
- Programs & Bulletens
- Public Announcements
- Government Papers
- Regional Circulars
- Census Records
- Yearbooks & Annuals
- Record Books
- Church Records
- Family Trees
- Visitor Books
Newspaper Microfilming Solutions
At Advantage, we fully recognize that the history recorded in the pages of a community’s newspaper is invaluable. It puts historical events in perspective, 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 in a real and tangible way. This cultural asset must be protected and preserved so future generations can can have access to the “first draft of history”. The only true way to ensure it’s survival, is through microfilming.
Those local historical newspapers, record books, public records, and photos must be captured onto 35mm Silver Halide Microfilm to protect the valuable content from the ravages of time. Our microfilm meets all ANSI/AIIM Standards for microfilm preservation and use archival-quality 35mm Silver Halide microfilm produced in our FujiFilm Certified Lab for true 500+ year preservation. Through a collaborative approach, our clients are involved from the initial specifications to the delivery of the products, thus assuring the outcome they want and expect. All film is produced in the United States, and original materials will NEVER leave our secure facility. With microfilm that is stored to our standards, archived content will be available for future generations and can be accessed by anyone with a magnifying glass and a light source!
Microfilm Storage & Custodianship
Adhering to the strict quality standards we have adopted by Advantage Preservation, never ends. To ensure you preserved content is available 50, 100, or even 500 years, the proper storage conditions must be maintained. When you partner with Advantage, you are invited to store your original microfilm in our purpose-built microfilm vault in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, under conditions that meet or exceed industry standards and best practices.
To ensure your collection meets the 500 year life expectancy target, the microfilm will be stored in temperature and humidity controlled vault. The vault’s temperature is set at a 67 degree base temperature, and will not exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit. A constant relative humidity of 35% will be maintained with a maximum variance of plus/minus 5.0% in a 24-hour period. We store your film on 1,000 foot reels and a non reactive container will be used for processed microfilm to protect the film and facilitate identification and handling.
Only, chemically stable materials such as non-corrosive metals (anodized aluminum or stainless steel), peroxide-free plastics, and acid-free paper will be used for containers to ensure no degradation is caused to the image. Container label information will include identification number and an Advantage barcode which will then be ingested into our records management software allowing for cataloging the location and contents.
Advantage Preservation’s Adopted Microfilm Storage Standards
When you entrust us as a custodian of your microfilm collection, we take every that as a very serious responsibility. We have adopted several industry standards, and developed additional procedures to ensure the content contained on your microfilm is available for future generations!
Microfilm storage facility:
Temperature and humidity controls:
- For microfilm of records with a retention of 10 years or more, temperature must not exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and a constant relative humidity of 35% must be maintained with a maximum variance of plus/minus 5.0% relative humidity in a 24-hour period.
- For microfilm of records with a retention of less than 10 years, the maximum temperature must not exceed 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and a relative humidity range between 20% and 50% must be maintained with a maximum variation of plus/minus 5.0% relative humidity in a 24-hour period.
Microfilm containers and storage housings:
Container label information:
Storage on open racking with closed containers:
- Storage housing materials must be noncombustible and noncorrosive.
- Storage housing and containers must not be overloaded and film must not be stored under pressure.
- Films of different generic types, such as silver-gelatin, diazo, and vesicular films, must not be stored in the same storage room/vault or in rooms sharing common ventilation.[/one_third_last]
Inspection & Audit Services For Microfilm Collections
As resources and time are limited commodities in most organizations, we have contract services for microfilm inspection available to help ensure the integrity of your film archive. Advantage Preservation’s associates and archival specialists will evaluate existing acetate based microfilm collections and provide detailed documentation concerning the current condition of your archive. We will document any brittle film, microfilm with redox or other blemishes, the presence of vinegar syndrome (and stage of infection), any discoloration , mold or fungus growth, or any other condition that may jeopardize the life and longevity of your valuable archive.
At minimum, each year a random sample of not less than 2% of the total number of rolls stored in the facility should be examined to determine if deterioration is taking place. Each successive year the sampling population should include new rolls stored in the facility and the balance of the rolls not examined in the previous year. Film collections containing older films should be inspected in greater numbers. Guidelines for inspection are available in ANSI/AIIM MS45-1990 – Recommended Practice for Inspection of Stored Silver Gelatin Microforms for Evidence of Deterioration (as amended or replaced). In addition to common microfilm maladies, we will inspect each roll for quality, and adherence to standards. This includes counting the number of physical splices (and butt splices as opposed to overlap splices) and there are no rubber-based adhesives contained in any tape material used.
Lastly, a content inventory will be assembled to determine gaps in coverage, missing dates, and/or incorrect labeling or database information. Once the audit and inspection are complete, your account manager will share his or her findings in a comprehensive report and solutions can be discussed. To ensure that the collection is complete and contains the highest quality images available, and no content is compromised due to vinegar syndrome or redox, the microfilm collection will be audited in its entirety. The quality-index graph in standard ANSI/AIIM MS23 will be used to determine the minimum quality index for 15% of the total volume of microfilm. All microfilm must meet a minimum quality index level of 5.0. The microfilm must meet standard ANSI/NAPM IT9.1 (See Appendix A), except where these sections specifically state otherwise. Our process includes:
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
A Commitment To Quality
There is a difference between a microfilm “service provider” and a true partner for microfilming services. Advantage is a partner, not a “provider”, and our reputation is built on our commitment to provide our partners with the quality that they deserve. Quality Control and Quality Assurance are what set the microform production process at Advantage Preservation apart from others in the industry. Quality Control is defined as those steps incorporated into the production process that are designed specifically to reduce error. Quality Assurance is the process by which the total product is examined to ensure that the quality criteria established by Advantage Preservation are met.
Our quality criteria include careful inspection of the microfilm for overall legibility, the smallest detail legibility captured, the dimensional accuracy compared with the original, and the completeness of overall image area density. We also verify completeness of record vs. original materials provided, the fate bars match the dates printed in the masthead or page, and all targets are accurate.
Our internal processes include:
- Auditing all available versions of source material available for the project to identify best available quality original for filming.
- Ensure that reasonable effort is put forth to repair any imperfections that affect the legibility of the pages on the volumes identified for filming.
- Document preparation, including but not limited to: the insertion of targets (density target, resolution target, declaration by camera operator) and preparing the newspapers in a manner that they are filmed in an orderly sequence and misplaced pages will be put in the correct order.
- If missing or illegible pages are identified, they will be documented by inserting and the proper filming targets, as specified in standard ANSI/AIIM MS23.
- Microfilming the physical newspapers on roll microfilm first-generation, silver microfilm. A leader with a minimum of 28 inches of blank film will be used as well as a trailer also of 28 inches. The shot count per 100 foot roll of film will not exceed 1000 pages. Lab processing of the camera master and methylene blue testing.
- Quality assurance of the images on film. If pages do not pass the quality tests, they will be sent back to the camera operator for retakes. Replacement images will be identified by a title target identifying the retake/addition records. Retakes/additions will be spliced either before the density and resolution targets at the beginning of the film or after the density and resolution targets at the end of the film.
Advantage Preservation adheres to the recommended practices issued by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and/or the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) as minimum requirements for all microfilming of state records where these sections do not specify a standard or practice.
FujiFilm 35MM Microfilm
At Advantage Archives, we demand excellence and hold ourselves responsible to provide the highest quality of deliverable to our partners. We demand the same level commitment from our suppliers. We have selected Fujifilm as our preferred provider, as they have demonstrated that quality is their primary concern. Fujifilm has been awarded ISO 9002 quality certification for its microfilm manufacturing operations. For that reason, we use only the highest quality archival microfilm from FujiFilm and process it in our FujFilm certified lab.
FujiFilm microfilm is ideal for preserving irreplaceable documents and pictures for future generations. Their microfilm provides high-resolution, human-readable, archive-quality images that are provide superior results if digitization is elected for use as an access method. Their black-and-white microfilm has a Life Expectancy (LE) of at least 500 years when processed and stored according to recommended standard practices. Fujifilm negative microfilms provide outstanding performance for scanning into digital systems and viewing on conventional reader-printer screens. Fujifilm silver halide duplicating microfilms make high quality copies of source document originals.
Film specifications, processing, and storage
- Before Processing: Unopened packages of Fuji Microfilm is stored at 70F (21C) or below, and 50% relative humidity or less.
- After Processing: The term ‘archival’ is no longer specified in ISO/ANSI standards. Films are now classified according to their Life Expectancy or LE rating. LE is the life expectancy, in years, whereby filmed information can be retrieved, when the film is manufactured, processed, and stored under specified conditions.
ISO/ANSI specifications require the use of accepted processing methods to meet the standards of maximum Life Expectancy. These include the use of a developer, fixing solution, and adequate washing to ensure that the residual Thiosulfate level does not exceed 1.4 micrograms per square centimeter of film, as specified in ISO 18917:1999 Photography — Determination of residual thiosulfate and other related chemicals in processed photographic materials — Methods using iodine-amylose, methylene blue and silver sulfide, and as recommended by ANSI/AIIM MS23 -2004 Standard Recommended Practice – Production, Inspection, and Quality Assurance of First-Generation, Silver Microforms of Documents.Temperature and Humidity Storage Requirements for Microfilm (After processing)
All Fujifilm Silver Halide Microfilms and plastic boxes, and other archive media, are manufactured to meet or exceed all pertinent ANSI and ISO specifications, including ISO 18901:2010 Imaging materials- Processed silver-gelatin type black-and-white films.
Our Adopted Archive Media Standards:
Only Silver Halide Gelatin Microfilm on Polyester base has an LE500 designation when processed and stored as specified. The Applicable ISO/ANSI Standards in regards to the microfilm we use from FujiFilm are as follows: (Please check with ISO for latest/current revision)The ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards dealing with permanence and physical properties are being phased out and are being replaced by ISO standards.
Our processes align to ANSI/AIIM (Association for Information and Image Management) standards for archival microfilming, as well as specifications developed by the Research Libraries Group (RLG) & by the LIFLA & ALA. This requires stringent adherence to our internal guidelines regarding the careful production & examination of all archival microfilm, in addition to well controlled storage & handling conditions
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.
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 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.