When You Digitize, You Open Up A "Portal To The Past" By Offering Practical Access To Content On Microfilm
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
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a few local historians and government types but, more and more, citizens are recognizing the importance of preserving historical documents for the long term and making them accessible to anyone, anywhere.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 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.
Typically we find our partners are interested in getting 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. 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.
Digitization Is An Enhancement To The Preservation Of History
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.
Partnering With Communities To Provide A "Portal To The Past"
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 save time, improve research accuracy, protect the preservation copy, save money on physical replacements, & creating a valuable community asset.
The Community History Archives are 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.
Spotlighting a few of our partners:
Whether your document is a day old, or 200 years old, we have the technology, experience and expertise to provide your library, historical societies, museums, and other institutions, with archiving and access options. Our solutions are designed to fit your institution’s unique needs and budget restrictions. We specialize in Document Imaging, Preservation Microfilming Services, Microform Scanning, Digital Archive Hosting, and Document Management Solutions. We partner with libraries & historical societies just like yours, to preserve their community’s past, make accessible in the present, and available in the future.
The history recorded in the documents from communities across the country, is invaluable. Newspapers, atlases, almanacs, personal journals, directories, government documents…and even yearbooks can put historical events in perspective, and allow 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 documents that would otherwise be lost to the erosion of time if they remained on fragile paper. The only true way to ensure its survival, is through microfilming.
A digital archive allows you to give your historical documents a new life, and give your community an easy-to-use resource, by converting your local newspaper microfilm, and other historical documents, to a fully-searchable digital archive. The Community History Archives serve as a practical means to explore and discover content that was not easily accessible before. Preserving the historic content on microfilm ensures that the “first rough draft of history” is available for future generations. Using digitization as a supplement (not a replacement) to your long term archival strategy, it opens up a very real way for the members of your community to connect with their history.
The content contained on paper documents give a firsthand account and informs our perspective of history, that shaped not only your community, but also your state, and the nation…from a local perspective. Although historical newspaper imaging is our specialty, we have equal passion for all historic documents, including vital records, family bibles, transcripts, journals, and more. All documents and fragile papers are evaluated and processed to assure proper care and accurate conversion. Our experience covers a broad range of document types from a few days, a few years, or even 300 years ago. All phases of the archival document imaging process, such as preparation, document scanning, document indexing, etc., are managed effectively by the experienced team at Advantage. We work closely with our clients through the entire lifecycle of the project utilizing proven project management and preservation methodologies.
Historical preservation is far from our only area of expertise! Our dedicated commercial document imaging solution division AdvantageIMS, is dedicated to providing solutions for more documents critical your business or organization. Archiving and retrieving information may not be your core competency. It is ours. We provide solutions tailored to your specific requirements. Advantage Archives 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.
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 provide online access to their community’s history, and are pleased that they share our mission to ensure that documents from the past are accessible in the present, and available in the future. We also work 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.