Serials in Microfilm Acquisition Opportunity

Image Data Conversion

Accepting Offers

Hilco Streambank is seeking offers to acquire certain assets (the Assets) of Image Data Conversion, LLC (IDC). The Assets include one of the largest single collections of microfilms ever assembled, with thousands of titles across various academic and mainstream periodicals, some dating back centuries.

Offers are due:

Monday, March 25, 2019
@ 10:00 a.m. ET

Public Sale:

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
@ 10:00 a.m. ET


The Serials in Microfilm (SIM) collection has been built up over 80 years into the largest collection ever assembled, amassing nearly 500,000 volume years. The collection encompasses nearly 15,000 titles highly acclaimed and widely accepted as important by hundreds of academic, public, and special libraries worldwide.

Excellent Coverage

The SIM collection represents those core titles selected by libraries for long-term preservation. The collection covers the vast majority of magazines and journals included in the leading citation indexes:

  • 90% of the journals indexed in ABI/Inform (oldest and leading index for business, management and economic topics)
  • 85% of the journals indexed in Applied Science & Technology Index
  • 82% of the journals indexed in Education Index
  • 98% of the journals indexed in Abridged Index Medicus (AIM or “Core Clinical”)
  • 93% of magazines indexed in Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature

Of the 12,806 journals, magazines, and professional/trade publications that make up the SIM collection, 83% of the defined coverage ranges are complete and 97% of the total potential volume years are included.

The Collection

The SIM collection includes published works, primarily in English, in the following publication types:

  • Scholarly Journals – 6,320 titles
  • Historical Journals – 1,766 titles
  • Trade Journals – 1,655 titles
  • Magazines – 843 titles
  • Government Documents – 356 titles
  • Newspaper-Trade – 67 titles
  • Law Journals – 41 titles
  • Law Review – 16 titles
  • Reports – 6 titles
  • Other – 3,762 titles

The SIM collection covers topics in the following subjects:

  • Health & Medical Sciences (1,655)
  • Business & Economics (1,584)
  • Engineering & Technology (1,144)
  • Language & Literature (922)
  • Education (886)
  • Historical Periodical (808)
  • Mathematical & Physical Sciences (807)
  • Social Sciences (791)
  • General Interest (786)
  • Biological Sciences (635)
  • Communication & Information Sciences (578)
  • Area, Ethnic & Gender Studies (532)
  • Philosophy & Religion (430)
  • Fine & Performing Arts (373)
  • Agriculture (364)
  • Law (326)
  • History (292)
  • Building & Construction (240)
  • Geosciences (229)
  • Environmental Sciences (224)
  • Behavioral Sciences (203)
  • Government Documents (114)
  • Interdisciplinary (60)
  • Other (849)

Historical Content

From the first magazines published in America, such as The American Magazine and Benjamin Franklin’s The General Magazine, over 500 American magazines, journals and gazettes from the last several centuries serve as foundational elements of the collection. These publications cover literature, poetry and criticism, politics and law, industrial arts/patents, religion, architecture, popular culture, music, art, science and medicine, trades and social movements.

Iconic Popular Culture Titles

The archive is also home to myriad magazines that chronicle the ever changing landscape of popular culture, with iconic news weeklies including Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report, entertainment publications including People, Ebony, and Rolling Stone, lifestyle publications like Vogue, Better Homes and Gardens, and Cosmopolitan, and top sports titles such as Sports Illustrated, Field & Stream, and Car and Driver.

Storage Methods

The entire archive has been microfilmed to preservation standards and includes every page as it was originally printed, including covers and advertisements. The collection is stored in metal film cans and shelved in 8,000 square feet of climate controlled vaults outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has been cataloged with title and publisher specific metadata.


The camera master negatives, which are the base of this offering, are the first generation negatives produced in 35mm format and stored on archival quality silver-gelatin film stock. The camera masters were filmed at the lowest reduction ratio possible, making them an excellent version to maximize data capture through digitization. A majority of the archive is not available online today, nor has it ever been assembled into such a large collection as represented by this offering. Subsets of the SIM are also available in 16mm and 105mm formats and are being made available either as part of the SIM 35mm offering or as separate lots.

The SIM is organized by volume year within title and includes cover-to-cover coverage for each issue. The completeness and coverage of the SIM is one of its major advantages, when compared with existing print-based archives, which typically suffer from torn or missing pages, or altogether missing issues.

There is no record of an offering of this scope and scale for serial content in history. The SIM collection represents a single source opportunity to acquire a one-of-a-kind collection of content and an enormous step in helping to make the vision of universal access to knowledge a reality.

Academic Applications

The roughly 500 million pages contained in this archive cover a wide spectrum of topical areas including science and technology, law, banking and business, education, and religion. This diverse and comprehensive repository houses the complete runs of hundreds of peer-reviewed scholarly journals from leading academic publishers such as Elsevier, Springer/Nature, Wiley, Lippincott, and Taylor and Francis, among others. The collection of academic journals and research is the largest single record of such material, with more full-run academic publications than the Boston public library, Seattle public library, Chicago public library, or San Francisco public library. By preserving the collection, academic libraries would benefit from maintained access to a singular trusted serial collection, scholars, researchers and students would be aided by improved availability and access to serial content that is not available through licensed channels, and scientists would gain a better understanding of the linkages that exist across a much broader slice of the serial corpus. As the largest single historical record of published scholarly research, owning the collection would provide a search engine with the opportunity to become the authority for search in an academic setting.

Other Applications

Digitization of the SIM collection brings the added benefit of transforming a once static and analog collection into a large vein of new digital texts that will greatly expand and enhance non-consumptive data mining applications that extend well beyond today’s limits to digitized serial content. It does this without the burden of negotiating agreements with publishers, particularly within the STM segment.

Offers are due:

Monday, March 25, 2019
@ 10:00 a.m. ET

Public Sale:

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
@ 10:00 a.m. ET

Sale Process

Accepting Offers

The Assets will be sold pursuant to Article 9 of the Michigan Uniform Commercial Code. The secured creditor has not and will not be deemed to have made (whether by virtue of having sold the Assets, or having acquired possession of the Assets, or having done or failed to do any act, or having acquired or failed to acquire any status), and the secured lender specifically disclaims, any representation or warranty, of any kind or nature, express or implied, as to the title, condition, design, operation, merchantability, freedom from claims for infringement or the like, or fitness for use for a particular purpose, of the Assets, or as to the fitness or saleability of the Assets, the absence therefrom of latent or other defects, whether or not discoverable, or as to any other representation or warranty whatsoever, express or implied (including any implied warranty arising from a course of performance or dealing or usage of trade), with respect to the Assets. The Assets are to be sold “AS IS, WHERE IS,” “WITH ALL FAULTS,” and “WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES WHATSOEVER, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, A WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR OR OTHER PURPOSE,” and subject to taxes, special assessments and liens that have been levied or assessed, and/or are unpaid or unsatisfied (none of which will be paid by the secured lender). The Assets are being sold without recourse to the secured lender, its attorneys or representatives. The secured lender does not claim title to the Assets being sold and disclaims any warranty of title, possession, quiet enjoyment and the like in the sale. All of the Assets will be sold at the sale, and may be sold in lots or as part of a complete package.

Access to an online data room with diligence information regarding the Assets will be provided to interested parties upon request. For more information about the Assets or sale process, please contact Hilco Streambank.

Interested Parties

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