Still Using Your Grandmother's Microfilm Machine?microfilm scanning integra paperLESS

There are definitely "archival" benefits to microfilm / microforms, but there are also a number of concerns with depending on it as your "working copy" or worse yet, your "ONLY copy" of mission critical records. Unrealized benefits of work productivity, employee satisfaction and data security, are often overlooked on the go-forward, when faced with the up front cost of digitzation.  Many organizations are taking a closer look at this "true cost of ownership" and electing not to pass the buck onto those that come after them.

Storage: Proper preservation techniques are often disregarded, not intentionally, rather by lack of understanding.  As turnover in staffing becomes more common, the tribal knowledge of microfilm preservation diminishes.  What used to be a technology that was showcased front-and-center in an office, is now banished to the dark, damp, basement.  Raise your hand if your microfilm and machine are stored in the basement.  Unfortunately, this loss of tribal knowledge and regular useage can lead to an exponential increase in microfilm degradation.  See Vinegar Syndrome.

Duplication: Today, we take for granted that Joe, the "IT guy", is backing up our digital files on the server.  Years ago, the backup process was to create a duplicate copy of the microfilm and store it in a separate location from the original, in case of disaster.  Ironically, many of those "duplicate" copies were stored in such a "safe" location that they can no longer be found. In the event the microfilm duplicate has been lost and the records require permanent retention, digitization is the only "safe" solution.  Once digitized, many customers maintain the roll microfilm as the archival copy or send the microfilm to State Archives for permanent storage.

Searching: As part of the digitization process, our customers get to decide how the digital images should be searched.  This includes tailored indexing, keywords, metadata, appropriate file naming or categrorization and the option to do full-text searching (OCR).  Where the digital files will be housed, also poses options, including stored on a shared drive, imported into an existing Content Management system, uploaded to SharePoint or one of our hosted, Cloud storage options.  With all these options, digital is quite a change from the cumbersome, analog 'browsing' of microfilm images.  This ability to align with how an organizations information should be accessed, allows users to more quickly find information and share it with those who need it.

 

Quick Facts:

• Microfilm was the original "PaperLESS" solution, compacting boxes of records down to small rolls of film.
• Becoming standard procedure in the 1950's, microfilm grew in popularity into the 1980's & 1990's.
• Also popular during the 80's & 90's was the band Pandora's Box**, who our Technician, Roger, was the drummer for!

 

Types of Microfilm/Microforms:

• 16mm Roll Microfilm
• 35mm Roll Microfilm
• 105mm Microfiche
• Aperture Cards
• 16mm Microfilm Jackets
• 35mm Microfilm Jackets
• Microforms
• COM Microfiche
• UltraFiche
• 3M Cartridges
• and much more...

 

If you're tired of dealing with old microfilm or if you hear Pandora's Box** on the radio, call Integra PaperLESS!

 ** If you take exception to our use of band references or poor sense of humor, please don't blame Integra, blame the writer!

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