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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Transitioning from One Storage Technology to Another
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.