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Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions.


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Who is Advantage Preservation?

Advantage Preservation is dedicated solely to the preservation and digital access of historical newspaper content. Working with over 500 libraries and newspaper publishers across the country, Advantage Preservation carefully captures the “first draft of history” to microfilm in accordance to ANSI/AIIM standards for 500-year preservation. In addition, Advantage provides online access to that content as an enhancement to the preservation process, making that valuable content more easily accessible. In short: We preserve the past to ensure its future.

What markets do you serve?

Advantage is proud of the comprehensive offering of services and solutions we offer to organizations in Iowa and across the United States. We are pleased to serve: State & Local Governments, Libraries & Historical Societies, Newspaper Publishers, Health Care Institutions, Educational Institutions, Transportation & Logistics Organizations, State Historical Societies, Manufacturers, Legal Professionals, and many more.

What services do you offer?

Advantage provides storage, document management, and preservation support solutions to organizations across the United States. These services include, but are by not means limited to: Archive Inspection & Audit Services, Records Management & Storage, HIPAA Compliant Records Management, HIPAA Compliant Document Management, Digitization of Microfilm, Hosted Imaging Solutions, Secure Vault Storage, Document Destruction & Shredding, Digital Storage & Access Solutions, Microfilm Storage, Large Format Document Scanning, and Digital Archive Hosting.

Where can I find the latest news or announcements?

We want you to connect and collaborate, and we have several ways in which you are able to stay up to date on announcements, company media mentions, articles and more. Follow us on social media, read our blog, and find educational articles on document management and preservation support solutions from our team experts who have over 100 years of combined industry experience

Who is Advantage Information Management Solutions?

Advantage Information Management Solutions provides document management and imaging solutions to organizations across Eastern Iowa ranging from hospitals & clinics, to universities and school districts. At Advantage we pride ourselves in providing outstanding customer service and quality services to Iowa’s city, county, and state government agencies. Offering filming, imaging, and indexing of documents, Advantage Information Management Solutions focus is to ensure that your organization’s documents are easily accessible, now and in the future.

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What microfilming quality standards does Advantage adhere to?

Advantage meets or exceeds all ANSI/AIIM standards for microfilm production, storage and duplication. We have developed an extensive, multi pass quality assurance program, and consider ourselves the preeminent microfilm lab in the country in terms of the quality of film produced. We apply the same strict quality control guidelines to our digital projects as well as our traditional conversion services. Our film is always produced in our film lab in our Cedar Rapids, Iowa facility. At no time will your original materials or film leave our facility without your express written consent.

What kind of microfilm does Advantage use?

Advantage creates all silver halide microfilm used for newspaper preservation in our FUJIFILM Certified Lab, using only the highest archival quality FUJIFILM products. The FUJIFILM North America Corporation Microfilm Processing Certification Program is designed to ensure processing consistency and quality through monitoring of our lab’s process activity level and QC control procedures. FUJIFILM-certified labs must perform daily and monthly testing to keep their certification current.

What are the different types of microfilm?

At Advantage, we provide archival quality microfilming services to hundreds of libraries, historical societies and publishers across the country. The preservation filming process includes a master negative, silver duplicate negative and silver positive service copy. We will attempt to outline these and other types of film in the article found here.

What are the advantages of microfilm preservation and storage?

Microfilm has maintained its position as the standard for preservation since the 1930’s and for good reason. Microfilm that was created in the 1930’s and stored properly is still accessible today. That is why at Advantage Archives, microfilming is still our preservation process and we provide microfilm services and storage to libraries and institutions across the country.

How will Advantage store our microfilm?

We store all microfilm in our environmentally controlled, purpose built, and secure microform storage facility.  We inspect, test,  & inventory all film in your collection upon arrival and audit your collection annually. You will receive detailed reporting as to the condition & completion of your archive, as well as recommendations on how we may further protect and provide access to your collection.

Where will Advantage physically store our microfilm?

All of our publishing partner’s microfilm is stored on-site in our 80,000 square foot facility located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and will not be moved, transferred, or stored elsewhere without the publisher’s express written permission.

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Publisher Information

What are my rights as a publisher?

You own your film and the content. Period. Advantage is merely the custodian of your archive. We will provide our clients services and help them monetize their archive, but at the end of the day, what we do and how we do it is at the discretion of the publisher.

In what ways does Advantage respect copyright and intellectual property?

One reoccurring question is regarding publisher’s rights to their content, and what the team at Advantage will do to ensure it is honoring the publisher’s wishes for content outside of the public domain. The short answer is simple: “Advantage values their relationships with the publishers”. We will respect their copyrights, and will not reuse their copyrighted intellectual property without their written consent.

How do publishers benefit from a relationship with Advantage?

We pay royalties on every sale, creating a revenue stream to compliment the high quality product and service you will receive. At Advantage Preservation we recognize that your entire archive is a valuable asset and under your ownership. Advantage Preservation will partner with you to monetize this content on your behalf, and will not reuse, sell, “loan”, or otherwise profit from your archive without your express written consent and a fair royalty agreement in place.

What makes Advantage “different” than other microfilm and digital service providers?

We are not new to this business. Every member of our team has extensive experience in historical preservation and newspaper conversion. Many of us worked at well known microfilm service providers and newspaper digitization companies that we felt were doing a great disservice to their clients. We came together to form Advantage Preservation; a collaboration with newspapers and libraries to expand knowledge, reinforce the value and importance of newspapers, and build a viable and sustainable business model to benefit newspaper publishers and properly preserve history.

What are my rights as a microfilm subscriber?

We have had many conversations with librarians, newspaper publishers  and state entities who are deeply concerned with their current microfilm preservation companies.  Between receiving poor quality microfilm with a clear lack of adherence to national standards and often receiving their subscriptions months (we’ve heard, in some extreme cases, as much as a year) after the newspaper is published, they are worried about trusting these companies with their preservation budgets, about providing good and current resources to their patrons, and ultimately about the preservation of their town’s history.

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Community History

Who do I contact to get my community's history archived and available online?

The newspaper industry in the United States has evolved considerably over the last 300 years. Each development in the typesetting methods, printing process, and paper stock created unique challenges in adapting the digital image of old newspapers to a searchable format.

What are the Community History Archives?

We believe preserving history is a shared responsibility. Advantage, community publishers, libraries, and other like minded individuals have come together to make local content more accessible as a now and in the future.

How do I use the Community History Archives?

We have created a series of tutorials that will provide you with an overview of  the Community History Archives and guide you on how to use the features and toolsets of the site as well as how to navigate the Search Engine Results Page, and Image Viewer.

Why digitize community history?

Keyword searching allows staff to find information within seconds of typing in a name/search term. (Less time spent thumbing through page by page of newspapers or microfilm is more time spent assisting patrons & working on other projects/programs for the library). The faster & more accurately the library can meet your patrons & community members needs the better the perception of the library. The faster you can find the information they need, the more your staff can be devoted to other projects, and the happier the community is with the services of the library.  The better quality service of the library, the better opportunity for donations from patrons & community members, which allows the library to grow and add more services to the community over time

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Community History Archives 2.0

What are the key differences in the update?

Some key new features include: customizable colors and images for more on-brand archives, a multi-select browse feature, PWA (Progressive Web App) interface, redesigned clipping tool, thumbnail previews, general performance upgrades, and much more!

What is a PWA?

The all-new Community History Archives Platform was built on a Progressive Web Application. That sounds cool and all, but you may not know exactly what that is. What a PWA allows you to do is access your community’s history on a phone or tablet. The platform now works like an app that you download from the Appstore, but still is in the web browser.

In 2011 only 7% of all internet traffic was from mobile devices…in 2021, that number is now nearly 55%. We knew we would have to focus on making the platform “mobile-friendly.” Thanks to the new Progressive Web App (PWA) architecture, when you explore the archive on your phone, or an iPad (my new favorite way to browse content), you will find that it behaves more like an app downloaded from Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store.

When you first visit the site, you will be asked if you would like to add it to your home screen. It can reside right alongside your other native apps so that you can access your community’s archive with one click. This also works on your computer, and you can add the icon right on your desktop to launch the archive, which, when opened, will feel like “software” as it does not need to rely on your browser to display content. Your in-browser experience will be identical to your PWA experience.

Does Community History Archives 2.0 work on mobile?

The All-New Community History Archives platform works on ALL devices. From iPhone and Android Phones to tablets and computers we have you covered.

We want to choose the colors and images on our archive home page, How do we do this?

Reach out to your Partnership Manager whom you have been working with. We would be more than happy to change your Archive Colors, and Images to your liking!

When will this update Be taking place?

We are planning to roll out the new platform during the week of July 11th.

Do we need to update this or will it automatically update?

Your Community History Archive will update automatically

Is there a guided tour that we can use to help learn the platform?

Yes! There will be an interactive guided tour coming soon.

Do you have a demo video or walk through of the new platform?

Yes, Please follow the link below to our guided tour.


Will this work on all computers and browsers?

Yes! We designed the Community History Archives to work on all computers and all browsers!

Where can I find a list of other Community History Archives?

Please follow the link below to see our directory.

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How do I find funding and grants for local historical preservation projects

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. Funding for these digital conversion projects is scarce and the competition is tough, but it is out there.

What is the difference between bi-tonal and grayscale scanning?

When a library or newspaper publisher approaches us to discuss the creation of a digital archive, we field a wide range of questions. Is it best to digitize from microfilm directly? Should we flatbed scan our newspapers? If we digitize how long will this preserve our content? What types of metadata fields should we use? Can we do it ourselves?

Why is OCR so poor on historical newspapers?

The newspaper industry in the United States has evolved considerably over the last 300 years. Each development in the typesetting methods, printing process, and paper stock created unique challenges in adapting the digital image of old newspapers to a searchable format.

I have multiple users that all may want to access the same piece of information at the same time! How can you help my company?

Advantage Information Management Solutions (AIMS) works with companies to manage just that type of situation. Using digital imaging and scanning technology, AIMS finds solutions for multiple user environments.

I want to go paperless. Can you help me?

Advantage can handle all your digital and analog imaging needs. Advantage Information Management Solutions offers document management solutions for a vast range of clients and requirements. A customized solution is tailored to each client’s need providing electronic images of vital documents, providing instant access to mission critical information.

What is HIPAA and why should I worry about it?

HIPAA is an acronym for the Federal Government’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. which is a federal statute that provides for the development of uniform national health information data and privacy standards. In adopting the Act, Congress determined that the provisions of HIPAA would preempt any contrary state law unless the state law is more stringent than the related provision of HIPAA or unless a specific exception applies. The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information (the Privacy Rule) took effect on April 14, 2001. The Privacy Rule creates national standards to protect individuals’ personal health information and gives patients increased access to their medical records.

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