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http://www.mesltd.ca - Microfilm scanners are used to convert documents stored on microfilm to digital formats. /nTo preserve the vast amount of information contained in documents, microfilm and microfiche were the only viable /nsolutions for many years. However, when the world started going digital, this media was viewed as archaic. Take a /nlook at this presentation by Kevin D'Arcy, VP of Sales and Marketing for MES Hybrid Document Systems, Ontario's /nleading document scanning and document management supplier.

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Presentation Transcript
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Microfilm Scanners

Transitioning from One Storage Technology to Another


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Microfilm Scanners

  • Microfilm scanners are used to turn microfilm archives into digital formats. Microfilm and microfiche were the main storage media for decades. Since the 1970s, libraries, law firms, government agencies, museums and other institutions used this media to archive material in a more efficient manner. It certainly was easier and cheaper to store a roll of film than hundreds of publications.


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Microfilm Scanners

  • Microfilm and microfiche serve the same purpose. They create images of document material and archive it on a film material. The only difference between the two media is the shape of the final product. For example, microfilm puts document images on a roll of film. Microfiche, on the other hand, houses document images on a flat sheet.


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Microfilm Scanners

  • To access information stored on microfilm or microfiche, a microfilm reader is required. Users put the microfilm into the reader and the images are enlarged so they could be easily viewed. Most microfilm and microfiche are stored as negative images. The reader, therefore, converts the archive to positive images.


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Microfilm Scanners

  • The microfilm archival method has been popular for journals, books, newspapers and historical documents. By storing the information on film, the original documents are preserved. The public can view the contents of these materials easily and without causing damage to the paper-based original.


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Microfilm Scanners

  • The Digital Era Changes Document Archiving

  • To preserve the vast amount of information contained in documents, microfilm and microfiche were the only viable solutions for many years. However, when the world started going digital, microfilm and microfiche were viewed as archaic methods. Storing data on digital media, such as disks and removable drives, became the new norm.


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Microfilm Scanners

But, what happens to the millions of documents stored currently archived on microfilm and microfiche? Enter microfilm scanners.

Basically, microfilm scanners scan the images on microfilm and convert them into a digital format. Then, the digital files are stored as soft copies. The conversion can be done by purchasing a microfilm scanner or using a scanning service.

Organizations need to conduct a cost analysis to determine the best course of action for digitizing their microfilm archives. Often, the volume of microfilm will dictate whether purchasing a microfilm scanner or outsourcing the project makes sense.


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Microfilm Scanners

Characteristics of Microfilm Scanners

When microfilm scanners convert microfilm and microfiche information to digital formats, the resulting files are saved as TIFF, PDF or JPEG formats. These digital formats can easily be copied, stored and sent via e-mail as needed. Plus, digital files can be housed in document management systems and indexed for easy retrieval.


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Microfilm Scanners

However, one of the biggest advantages of using microfilm scanners to convert microfilm images is accessibility. No special reader is required to access and view the information. With any computer or mobile device, digital information can be accessed from any location.

When selecting microfilm scanners, different models exist. Companies need to compare each model’s specifications to their requirements to determine the best fit. Microfilm scanners will vary in terms of image quality, scanning speed and cost.


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Microfilm Scanners

Understanding how microfilm scanners work is the first step in the purchase analysis. Working similar to a digital camera, the scanners produce images from the actual microfilm or microfiche material. Depending on the model, special capabilities allow images to be enhanced. With the different feature sets, each organization will need to decide for itself what’s most useful.


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Microfilm Scanners

It’s important to note that many organizations don’t completely replace their microfilm archives. Microfilm media can last for decades. And, digital formats are not foolproof. To create the best preservation scenario, organizations will typically keep both microfilm and digital formats of important documents.


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About the Author

  • Kevin D'Arcy is VP of Sales and Marketing for MES Hybrid Document Systems, Ontario's leading document scanning and document management supplier. For more information about Microfilm Scanners, visit our website.


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