New Economy; New Rules: Discounted Microfilm Scanning, Microfiche Scanning, Aperture Card Scanning, and Imaging Services

Category: Microfilm Scanning

What is Duplex Roll Film Scanning?

Duplex roll film is 16mm microfilm that has been created with two images per frame. The front and backside of a document page was filmed at the same time as the front or they are simply two separate images side-by-side. There are around 5,000 frames on a 100-foot roll of 16mm duplex film, however once the pages get split it would be 10,000 separate images if split. Of course these are just estimates and longer film could contain a whopping 15,000+ frames (30,000+ images). Some documents were small to begin with, such as envelopes, checks, birth, death, and marriage certificates, driver’s licenses, fingerprints, and traffic tickets. In such cases rolls may contain¬†double the expected amount (30,000-60,000 images)!

duplex microfilm

There are a handful of ways to scan duplex microfilm. Depending on how it was filmed, Generation Imaging can save both frames in one image, or save out two images separately. Advanced options include deleting out black backsides and making multi-page pdfs or tiffs based on blips or indexing fields.

Generation Imaging has a price discount for digitizing duplex rolls. This is because there are so many images on a roll, in some cases one roll has the same number of images of 2-4 common rolls. Keep in mind, the turnaround time for converting duplex microfilm will indeed be longer than standard 16mm rolls.

The bottom line is regardless of how duplex rolls were filmed, Generation Imaging will scan them so you won’t even know that a different technique was used; the end result is the same as other reels.

Feel free to contact us with any questions about your film.

 

 

 

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How Do You Scan 16mm Roll Film?

16mm roll film (also called microfilm) can be read under a microfilm viewer. However if you want a copy of the actual documents contained on the film, they have to be digitized. 16mm roll film can be scanned using a reader printer- which is usually performed one image a time and every time consuming. The quicker way is to use a roll film scanner. Microfilm scanners are a product in which the cost is in proportion to the quality of its output. In other words, if you buy an “affordable” scanner ($10,000 USD) the speed and quality can’t match a high end model ($50,000+). There are used microfilm scanners on the market, but they rarely come with a warranty. And like printers, scanners have shelf lives.

roll film

The old way- using a reader printer.

The solution Generation Imaging offers is a roll film scanning service. For pennies or a fraction of a penny, depending on the microfilm type, volume, and format, we can convert your 16mm roll film to PDF, TIF, or JPG files. The speed and quality are top notch because NextScan roll film scanners are used.

The thing you have to realize how microfilm scanning is that it is a specialized technology. It’s not plug and play, nor is it an off the shelf solution if you are a newbie. If you work for a company, organization, government agency, or are an independent researcher, nine times out of ten it is more cost effective and less of a headache just to send Generation Images your 16mm roll film to get if converted to digital images.

Once you have the images, you can upload them to your PC, server, make backups, or import them into your imaging software. CONTACT US

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Who Needs Microfilm Scanning? (Digitizing Roll Film)

Is Microfilm Still Used Today? What Is Microfilm Scanning?

roll film

It may surprise you that in the 21st century, organizations still use microfilm (also called roll film). There are a couple of reasons why microfilm is still relevant in this modern age of digitization.

Government Mandates

Many state, county, or federal government agencies demand that documents be archived on microfilm reels. It is easy to see why this is true. We have heard too many nightmare scenarios about digitized images and documents being lost due to accident. Indeed, it is a given that analogue media is “solid” and gives the impression that it could be accessed in the future easier than having the appropriate computer hardware and software to view specific file formats.

However, proponents of this philosophy ignore the inconvenient truths that microfilm actually degrades. If not stored in particular proper conditions, all microfilm could become brittle, start “melting”, smell like vinegar, fade, or become impossible to spool. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to scan your microfilm before it becomes unusable (and non-compliant with law).

It’s Always Been Done That Way

It’s possible an organization has been archiving or using their documents a certain way, dating back to the 1970s or beyond. Because things have always been done like this- and perhaps the fear of microfilm scanning costs- there could be a fear of change.

The counter argument to that is simple: having a company like Generation Imaging scanning roll film to tiff, pdf, or jpeg will save your organization time, space, and probably costs. Microfilm can become costly to store and difficult to manage and sort through. Digitizing your roll film makes your office more efficient. Indexed documents can be searched for and accessed in seconds instead of searching through hundreds of feet of roll film.

Please contact Generation Imaging today if you have:

Building Department microfilm
Police Department microfilm
Zoning and Planning microfilm
Environmental Protection microfilm
Public Works microfilm
Legal Department microfilm
Department of Health microfilm
Vital Records microfilm
Highway Department
Fire Department microfilm
Town Clerk microfilm
Student records microfilm
Social Services microfilm

and more… CONTACT US

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Microfilm Saves History

microfilm scanning

History is defined as “the study of past events, particularly in human affairs” or “a continuous, typically chronological, record of important or public events or of a particular trend or institution”. Even the definition of “oral history”, which is defined as “the collection and study of historical information using sound recordings of interviews with people having personal knowledge of past events” points to storing the information on media.

Without a way of writing, typing, or recording writing, video, audio, and art, the last thing we have is passing stories down from generation to generation, but if you’ve ever played the telephone game you know that messages get messed up. Of course, no one would want to pass down detailed financial information, detailed law, scientific data, etc. anyway, so the bottom line is that human history only exists due to saving and maintaining The Record.

The United States of America is notorious for keeping vital records and having a paper trail for everything when it comes to you and the government. If you come from the Philippines, for example, you know how hard it is to get your birth certificate. Heck, you may not even have a lease to furnish for your house.

Therefore, without The Record, history is erased- its people, events, and facts. Without the archive, there is no history and there is a sense of nihilism. In 1870 American newspaper mills switched to wood pulp, which decay rapidly. In the 1920s, the Kodak proposed that microfilm was the solution, which allowed an entire newspaper to be contained on a small roll of 35mm microfilm. Eventually libraries were transferred to microfiche and microfilm while the originals were destroyed.

Now thanks to microfilm scanning and microfiche conversion, the documents are digital and can be printed, e-mailed, saved in the cloud, local PCs, discs, and servers.

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Things Your Boss Expects You Know About Microfilm Scanning

So you are going about your normal workday when all of a sudden your boss has a new priority for you from left field- get pricing for microfilm scanning! You probably haven’t even heard about microfilm, your office never even uses it, but your boss has an opportunity or need to get microfilm converted- whatever that means! So you politely say “okay” and start your search online. Hopefully we can clear up some confusion with this article!

microfilm questions

Confirm and Get the Microfilm Specs

Your ultimate goal is to get a price for microfilm conversion, but the first thing you have to do is actually identify and get details about the microfilm. Now, I know this may be hard if your boss just dropped a request for a roll film quote on your desk without telling you. But you can show off your knowledge to your boss by turning the tables and asking about what type of film it is. The two main types of roll film are 16mm and 35mm roll film. These look like small versions of movie reels. 35mm reels usually have newspapers, drawings, blueprints, or maps on them, while the more common 16mm reels usually have all other types of documents, like medical records, payroll records, school records, criminal records, land and deed records, marriage certificates, lawsuits, etc. If you have any specifications, let us know: DPI resolution (200, 300, or something else), pdf or tiff, bi-tonal or greyscale, and how are the files named?

A common misnomer is to call microfilm “microfiche”. Microfiche is actually flat plastic cards which contain a few frames on them. A microfilm roll is a spool of film.

Once you get the microfilm type, you want to get an estimate of how many rolls are in the collection. The reason for all of this fact-finding is to help us give you a free microfilm scanning quote. The price varied by type and volume. Without this information, it is like contacting a car dealership and asking for a car price without saying which year, model, or spec you desire.

What is Microfilm Used For, Anyway?

As far as why microfilm is still relevant today, there are still hundreds of thousands- if not millions- of rolls that have not been converted still. Governments still produce them to store their records on them because paper takes up too much space. You would think they would just scan the paper to digital image, but it takes too long and is costly. So it is possible that your boss is helping am existing client who also has microfilm but does not know how to convert it to digital image. Your boss may be trying to respond to a bid which has microfilm scanning requirements and your office can perform all of the other tasks but not the microfilm portion. There are dozens of reasons why your boss came across the microfilm scanning opportunity.

Other Important Questions

Your boss probably wants to know if it is cheaper to buy a microfilm scanner and do it yourself vs outsourcing microfilm scanning. We can give you price ranges for both. Generally speaking, it is more inexpensive to subcontract microfilm conversions. Microfilm scanners are very expensive to buy or lease, and you have to figure in the cost to train and maintain. In many ways getting your own microfilm scanner is like setting up a new business. Regardless, we will give you numbers to work from so you can give them to your boss.

Your would probably be expected to know how much it costs to ship the microfilm back and forth. The best way to get an estimate for that is to fill a banker’s box with paper and weigh it, or look at previous UPS, Fed-Ex, or USPS shipments you’ve made and extrapolate.

Other questions include turnover time: how long does it take to finish a microfilm scanning project? What are the images delivered on: external hard drives, USB flash drives, DVDs, FTP transfer. CONTACT US

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