Microfilm Scanners - MES Hybrid


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http://www.mesltd.ca - Microfilm scanners are used to convert documents stored on microfilm to digital formats.

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, this media was viewed as archaic. Take a

look at this presentation by Kevin D'Arcy, VP of Sales and Marketing for MES Hybrid Document Systems, Ontario's

leading document scanning and document management supplier.

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Microfilm Scanners - MES Hybrid

  1. 1. Microfilm ScannersTransitioning from One Storage Technology to Another
  2. 2. • 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.
  3. 3. • 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.
  4. 4. • 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.
  5. 5. • The microfilm archival method has been popular for journals, books, newspapers and historical documents.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.
  6. 6. • 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.
  7. 7. But, what happens to the millions of documents stored currentlyarchived on microfilm and microfiche? Enter microfilm scanners.Basically, microfilm scanners scan the images on microfilm andconvert them into a digital format. Then, the digital files are storedas soft copies. The conversion can be done by purchasing amicrofilm scanner or using a scanning service.Organizations need to conduct a cost analysis to determine the bestcourse of action for digitizing their microfilm archives. Often, thevolume of microfilm will dictate whether purchasing a microfilmscanner or outsourcing the project makes sense.
  8. 8. Characteristics of Microfilm ScannersWhen microfilm scanners convert microfilm andmicrofiche information to digital formats, theresulting files are saved as TIFF, PDF or JPEGformats. These digital formats can easily becopied, stored and sent via e-mail as needed.Plus, digital files can be housed in documentmanagement systems and indexed for easyretrieval.
  9. 9. However, one of the biggest advantages of usingmicrofilm scanners to convert microfilm images isaccessibility. No special reader is required to accessand view the information. With any computer ormobile device, digital information can be accessedfrom any location.When selecting microfilm scanners, different modelsexist. Companies need to compare each model’sspecifications to their requirements to determine thebest fit. Microfilm scanners will vary in terms of imagequality, scanning speed and cost.
  10. 10. Understanding how microfilm scanners work isthe first step in the purchase analysis.Working similar to a digital camera, thescanners produce images from the actualmicrofilm or microfiche material. Dependingon the model, special capabilities allowimages to be enhanced. With the differentfeature sets, each organization will need todecide for itself what’s most useful.
  11. 11. It’s important to note that many organizationsdon’t completely replace their microfilmarchives. Microfilm media can last fordecades. And, digital formats are notfoolproof. To create the best preservationscenario, organizations will typically keep bothmicrofilm and digital formats of importantdocuments.
  12. 12. • Kevin DArcy is VP of Sales and Marketing for MES Hybrid Document Systems, Ontarios leading document scanning and document management supplier. For more information about Microfilm Scanners, visit our website.