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Our Services: Preservation Microfilming

Microfilm Ensures The Past Has A Future

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Looking for Advantage Archives’ Standards & Processes?

We have an entire page dedicated to Our Standards & Processes outlining everything from our storage and custodianship to storage standards and audits.

See Our Standards & Processes

Preservation Microfilming Solutions That Ensure The Past Is Available In The Future

Preserving our cultural heritage often falls to local communities and groups, with a small staff and even smaller budgets. Cities, counties, and community organizations collect records, vital statistics, and transactional data that, over the years, tells 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a few local historians and government types but, more and more, citizens are recognizing the importance of preserving historical documents for the long term and making them accessible to anyone, anywhere.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 use the only proven long-term preservation method for newspaper & document preservation, microfilming onto 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 Archives 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 guidelines regarding the careful production and examination of all archival microfilm, in addition to well-controlled storage and handling conditions.

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Trust Advantage Archives

We have experience and expertise in the care, handling, and archiving of a vast array of or original printed materials, including the following.

  • Historical Newspapers
  • Diaries & Personal Journals
  • Books & Printed Literature
  • Immigration Records
  • Military Records
  • Postcards
  • Advertisements
  • Abstracts
  • Vital Statistics
  • Programs & Bulletins
  • Public Announcements
  • Government Papers
  • Transcripts
  • Regional Circulars
  • Census Records
  • Yearbooks & Annuals
  • Record Books
  • Heritage Collections
  • Directories
  • Church Records
  • Newsletters
  • Scrapbooks
  • Manuscripts
  • Family Trees
  • Ledgers
  • Maps
  • Visitor Books
  • Genealogical Research
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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 have access to the “first draft of history”. The only true way to ensure its 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 uses 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!

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 are very conscious of the fact that many institutions and government agencies face funding challenges and restricted budgets. Our goal is to ensure that a model exists to make those limited funds as impactful as possible. At Advantage, we believe there is a solution for any budget, and that access to local history should not only be available to the largest of institutions, but also to small and underserved communities.

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.

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Digitize Your Microfilm As A Compliment To Your Preservation Efforts

Learn Why

Provide Practical Access To Preserved Content

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 vary from community to community to some degree, but in the end the universal answer boils down to:

It will save time, improve research accuracy, protect the preservation copy, save money on physical replacements, & create a valuable community asset.

The Community History Archives is 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.

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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 some questions that you should consider asking of a potential preservation vendor (and from your newspaper’s publisher, as they ultimately choose a vendor).

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Vendor Questions

Here are some questions that you should consider asking of a potential preservation vendor (and from your newspaper’s publisher, as they ultimately choose a vendor).

If you do not feel your current provider can, or is willing to answer the questions below, or you suddenly find yourself without 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.

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?

Do you have a digital offering to complement 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 with 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 your 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 are needed, you will know.

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