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About Us: Our Standards & Processes

A Commitment To Quality

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Your Quality Microfilm Service Partner

There is a difference between a microfilm “service provider” and a true partner for microfilming services. Advantage Archives 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 Archives apart from others in the industry. Quality Control is defined as those steps incorporated into the production process that is 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.

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  • Our Internal Processes
  • Advantage Archives’ Adopted National Standards
Advantage Archives’ Adopted National Standards

Advantage 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 microfilming & standard or practice:

  • AIIM TR2-1992, Glossary of Imaging Technology.
  • AIIM TR11-1987 with 1993 addendum, Microfilm Jacket Formatting, and Loading Techniques.
  • AIIM TR12-1988, Bar Coding on Microfiche for Production and Dynamic Distribution Control.
  • ANSI IT9.2-1991, Imaging Media – Photographic Processed Films, Plates, and Papers—Filing Enclosures and Storage Containers.
  • ANSI IT9.5-1992, Imaging Media (Film)—Ammonia-Processed Diazo Films—Specifications for Stability.
  • ANSI IT9.11-1991, Imaging Media—Processed Safety Photographic Film—Storage.
  • ANSI IT9.12-1991, Photography—Processed Vesicular Photographic Film—Specifications for Stability.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS1-1988, Recommended Practice for Alphanumeric Computer-Output Microforms—Operational Practices for Inspection and Quality Control.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS5-1992, Microfiche.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS8-1988, Image Mark (Blip) Used in Image Mark Retrieval Systems.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS11-1987, Microfilm Jackets.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS14-1988, Specifications for 16mm and 35mm Roll Microfilm.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS17-1992, Micrographics—Rotary (Flow) Microfilm Camera Test Chart and Test Target—Descriptions and Use.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS18-1992, Micrographics—Splices for Imaged Microfilm—Dimensions and Operational Constraints.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS19-1993, Standard Recommended Practice—Identification of Microforms.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS23-1991, Practice for Operational Procedures/Inspection and Quality Control of First-generation, Silver Microfilm of Documents.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS28-1987, Alphanumeric COM Quality Test Slide.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS39-1987, Recommended Practice for Operational Procedures, Quality Control and Inspection of Graphic Computer-Output Microforms.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS42-1989, Recommended Practice for the Expungement, Deletion, Correction, or Amendment of Records on Microforms.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS43-1988, Recommended Practice for Operational Procedures/Inspection and Quality Control of Duplicate Microforms of Documents and From COM.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS45-1990, Recommended Practice for Inspection of Stored Silver-Gelatin Microforms for Evidence of Deterioration.
  • ANSI/AIIM MS51-1991, Micrographics—ISO Resolution Test Chart No. 2—Description and Use. (23) ANSI/NAPM IT9.1-1992, Imaging Media (Film)—Silver-Gelatin Type—Specifications for Stability. (24) ANSI/NAPM IT9.17-1993, Photography—Determination of Residual Thiosulfate and Other Related Chemicals in Processed Photographic Materials—Methods Using Iodine-Amylose, Methylene Blue and Silver Sulfide.
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Microfilm Storage & Custodianship

To ensure your collection meets the 500-year life expectancy target, the microfilm will be stored in a 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 nonreactive 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 an identification number and an Advantage barcode which will then be ingested into our records management software allowing for cataloging the location and contents.

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Advantage Archives’ 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
  • Storage On Open Racking with Closed Containers
  • Temperature & Humidity Controls
  • Container Label Information

Microfilm Storage Facility

  • Must be separate from other types of storage, offices, or work areas and offers protection from fire, water, steam, structural collapse, unauthorized access, and other potential hazards
  • Must be equipped with a fire alarm system and capable of preventing temperatures inside the storage vault from exceeding 150 degrees & the relative humidity from exceeding 85% for up to two hours in the event of an external fire
  • Must be equipped with a fire suppression system and with automatic fire control dampers in ducts carrying air to and from the storage room/vault If needed, it should be equipped with a system capable of removing those gaseous impurities in the surrounding environment as specified in standard ANSI IT9.11;
  • If subject to invasion of solid particles that can abrade film or react on the images has mechanical filters or electrostatic precipitators installed with a cleaning efficiency of at least 80% when tested with atmospheric air in accordance with standard ANSI IT9.11

Storage On Open Racking with Closed Containers

  • Storage housing materials must be non-combustible and non-corrosive.
  • 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.

Temperature & Humidity Controls

  • For microfilm of records with a retention of 10 years or more, the 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 retention of fewer 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.
  • Chemically stable materials such as non-corrodible metals (anodized aluminum or stainless steel), peroxide-free plastics, and acid-free paper must be used for containers to ensure no degradation is caused to the image.
  • If an adhesive is used, it must have no harmful effect on the photographic images.
  • Inks used on the container and on the label must not be a source of damage to the film or the enclosure itself.
  • Paper that is free of chemicals harmful to the film may be used to secure roll film if needed.
  • A microfilm container must be used for processed microfilm to protect the film and facilitate identification and handling.

Container Label Information

  • Identification number
  • The beginning and ending records
  • Retakes/additions, if applicable
  • Name of agency
  • Records series title
  • Inclusive dates of records
  • If the film is original or a duplicate
  • Generation number if known
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Inspection & Audit Services

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 a 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 the 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:

  • Documenting start and end dates on each 100-foot roll of microfilm
  • Quality auditing of 2%–5% of the collection to ensure density and resolution of the microfilm in compliance with ANSI/AIIM Standards
  • Visual inspection to verify image quality, skewing, damage or defects. If an issue is found, the un-inspected microfilm preceding and/or following those pages will be inspected image by image until all defective film has been identified.
  • Each roll identified as needing to be re-filmed will be documented and cross-referenced with the audit of bound volumes to identify the best original available.
  • Each 100-foot microfilm rolls will be conjoined for storage on 1,000-foot reels for long term archival storage
  • Any deteriorating film will be immediately removed, documented, and communicated to all parties involved in this agreement. Once the problem is corrected it will be returned to storage.
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Certified FujiFilm Microfilm Lab

At Advantage Archives, we demand excellence and hold ourselves responsible to provide the highest quality of deliverables to our partners. We demand the same level of 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 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.

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  • Film Specifications, Processing & Storage
  • Our Adopted Archive Media Standards

Film Specifications, Processing & 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 a 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.

  • (ISO 18901:2010). ANSI/NAPM IT9.1-1996; ANSI/ISO 10602:1995 Imaging Materials—Processed Silver-Gelatin Type Black-and-White Film—Specifications for Stability. Primarily intended for manufacturers, but includes specifications for residual silver and hypo (thiosulfate). Now withdrawn. Replaced by ISO 18901. Formerly ANSI PH1.41
  • (ISO 18902:2013) ANSI/PIMA IT9.2-1998 Imaging Materials—Photographic Processed Films, Plates, and Papers—Filing Enclosures and Storage Containers. Now Withdrawn. The replacement is ISO 18902:2013. ISO is now recommending an alkaline buffer in all paper enclosures whether for black-and-white or color.
  • ISO 18906:2000 Imaging materials—Photographic films—Specifications for safety film. ANSI standard (IT9.6) was withdrawn in January 2000.
  • ISO 18911:2010 Imaging materials—Processed safety photographic films—Storage practices.; ANSI IT9.11 was withdrawn in June 2001.
  • ANSI/NAPM IT9.13-1996 Imaging Materials—Glossary of Terms Pertaining to Stability. There is currently no ISO equivalent to this standard.
  • ISO 18915:2000 Imaging materials—Methods for the evaluation of the effectiveness of chemical conversion of silver images against oxidation. ANSI standard IT9.15 was withdrawn
  • ISO 18916:2007. Imaging Materials—Processed photographic materials—Photographic activity test for enclosure materials. ANSI IT9.16 was withdrawn in 2000.
  • 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. ; ANSI IT9.17 withdrawn in Dec. 1999.
  • ISO 18918:2000 Imaging materials—Processed photographic plates—Storage practices. ; ANSI IT9.18 was withdrawn in 2000.
  • ISO 18920:2000 Imaging materials—Processed photographic reflection prints—Storage practices. ; ANSI IT9.20 was withdrawn in 2000.
  • ISO 18924:2000 Imaging materials—Test method for Arrhenius-type predictions. ; ANSI IT9.24 withdrawn in 2000.
  • ISO 18928 Imaging materials—Unprocessed photographic films and papers—Storage practices. A new standard which replaces ISO 10331. No parallel ANSI document existed.
  • ISO/TR 18930:2001 Imaging materials—Protocols for outdoor weathering experiments.
  • ISO/TR 18931:2001 Imaging materials—Recommendations for humidity measurement and control – (Relevant section about humidity measurement methods)
  • ISO 18905:2002 Imaging materials—Ammonia-processed diazo photographic film —Specifications for stability
  • MS45—1990 Recommended Practice for Inspection of Stored Silver Gelatin Microforms for Evidence of Deterioration
  • MS23-2004 Recommended Practice—Production, Inspection, and Quality Assurance of First- Generation, Silver Microforms of Documents
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