The third step in our work was to preserve the Illinois newspapers we found throughout the state. During our inventorying and cataloging work, we also made note of Illinois newspapers that had not been preserved on microfilm.
Since, unfortunately, we couldn't film everything, we used a formula based on the following criteria to select newspapers for preservation microfilming:
- What is the scope of coverage?
- How rare is the material?
- Is there a significant run or only a few scattered issues?
- How complete is the run?
- Has it been microfilmed previously?
- Will these issues supplement previously filmed holdings?
- What is the condition of the original newsprint?
- What is the research value of the newspaper?
After we selected a newspaper for preservation microfilming, the INP sought permission from the holding institution to borrow their copy. We picked up the material and brought it back to UIUC for processing. Before shipping to our microfilm vendor, we performed a page-by-page collation, if the condition of the newsprint permitted. This allowed us to note irregularities, make repairs before filming, and create "targets" with identifying information that would be filmed with the original newsprint. Finally, we made the necessary additions or corrections to our database to reflect any new information we gleaned.
The INP used four different vendors for preservation microfilming. We, along with these vendors, closely adhered to the preservation microfilming guidelines that are mandated by the USNP and the Library of Congress. After the newsprint and microfilm were returned to us, we inspected all three generations of microfilm a second time to ensure quality control.
At our project's end, the INP had microfilmed 480 titles. A service copy of all microfilm created by the INP is available through interlibrary loan at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library. Patrons and institutions also have the opportunity to purchase service copies of the microfilm.