Heritage Microfilm, Inc.
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|Headquarters||Cedar Rapids, Iowa|
The company began in 1996 when the microfilm division of Cedar Rapids-based Crest Information Technologies was sold to Christopher Gill. The microfilm division was responsible at the time for preserving newspapers and for microfilming business documents. The business document filming portion of the business was soon dropped in favor of the newspaper microfilming division. (Crest in 1999 sold the remaining portion of the company to Lason).
In 1999, Heritage Microfilm began digitizing newspaper microfilm and launched NewspaperARCHIVE.com. Soon after, it began creating smaller "branded" newspaper archive websites in collaboration with publishing partners. The Syracuse Post-Standard and Stars and Stripes are among its clients for both microfilm and digital archives.
The firm works with ANSI/AIIM standards for preservation microfilming. It has a humidity and temperature-controlled storage facility. It is a Kodak ImageGuard facility. One of its specializations is damaged microfilm recovery. It has an Extek 3441 microfilm duplicator, which duplicates at low speeds to prevent damage to Redox or Vinegar-Syndrome microfilm. It uses Kodak silver halide microfilm for master film and primary duplications. It discontinued the use of vesicular film for duplications, due to the poor quality film available from distributors. It claims to use Kodak BrownToner, a polysulfide film treatment, on every reel of silver-halide microfilm that they produce.
NewspaperArchive.com is a commercial online database of digitized newspapers, and claims to be the world's largest newspaper archive.[self-published source?] The site was launched in 1999 by Heritage Microfilm.[self-published source?]
As of June 2008[update], NewspaperArchive said it provided full text search for 909 million articles on 85 million pages over 240 years that represented 2,875 publication titles in more than 748 cities. As of 2015, the product includes newspapers from Azerbaijan, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, South Africa, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Uzbekistan.[self-published source?]
Searches can be conducted by keyword, date, and location. Results are free, but access to the newspaper articles available to download in PDF format requires a subscription. Searching is available directly from newspaperarchive or via news.google.com/archivesearch. The company says that it follows the Automated Content Access Protocol in which its clients have a say in what is available online. The digitized newspapers that are currently available and OCR'd represent a fraction of the 150 million pages of historical documents that Heritage Microfilm maintains in its microform archive. According to NewspaperArchive, it is microfilming 2.5 million pages of newspapers each month and has 180,000 reels of microfilm.[self-published source?][self-published source?]
The resource has had its fair share of criticism.[according to whom?] A reviewer in 2004 observed that at the time the archive had some errors with year dates, and in June 2014, The Iowa Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation after complaints about deceptive and misleading practices that include charging subscribers for involuntary donations to a charity. As of August 1, 2014, Newspaper Archive, Inc. had a rating of F from Better Business Bureau.[relevant? ][third-party source needed]
Heritage Archives, Inc. (est.2009) is related company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that specializes in microfilming of newspapers that was also founded by Christopher Gill.[self-published source?][better source needed] Among its products is NewspaperARCHIVE. Clients include the state of Florida[better source needed] and the Boston Public Library.[better source needed] The filing with the state of Iowa also include a dba name of CONVERXION SA DE CV.
Some observers have expressed[who?] concern about the extent of involvement of a private commercial business with stewardship of historical resources otherwise assumed to be held in the public trust.[neutrality is disputed] For example, "until 2002 the Library of Congress and the Center for Research Libraries regularly microfilmed the principal daily newspaper of Jamaica, The Gleaner. ... In 2002 the Gleaner Publishing Company executed an agreement with Heritage Microfilm, Inc. giving to the for-profit firm exclusive rights to reformat and distribute The Gleaner, in both microform and digital format. Because Heritage now holds exclusive digital rights the agreement effectively shifts control of back files ... to the commercial sector, where it is marketed primarily for genealogists and family history researchers."
- Iowa Secretary of State. "Heritage Microfilm, Inc.". Business Entities. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Heritage Archives Inc. "Newspaperarchive.com". 855 Wright Bros. Blvd., Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Heritage Archives, Inc. "About Us". Newspaperarchive.com. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Heritage Archives Inc. "World Newspaper Archives – Newspaperarchive.com". 855 Wright Bros. Blvd., Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- "HeritageArchives.org". HeritageArchives.org. 2005-06-27. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
- "Our Mission". NewspaperArchive.com. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- Barry Popik (2004). "Digital Historical Newspapers : A Review of the Powerful New Research Tools". Journal of English Linguistics. Sage. 32.
- Jordan, Erin (24 June 2014). "Cedar Rapids company under state review after complaints". Cedar Rapids Gazette. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- "Newspaper Archive, Inc. – BBB Business Review". Better Business Bureau. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
- Heritage Archives, Inc. "HeritageMicrofilm.com". 855 Wright Bros. Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Iowa Secretary of State. "Heritage Archives, Inc.". Business Entities. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- State of Florida (2012). "2011-12 Payments by Vendor - Operational". Transparency Florida. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Boston Public Library. "Online Database A - Z List". Electronic Resources. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Bernard F. Reilly, Jr. (2005). "Knowledge Biodiversity: The Perilous Economics of World News Heritage Materials". Association of College and Research Libraries, 2005 national conference. American Library Association. Retrieved 2 May 2012.