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When Is the Right Time to Scan My Microfilm?

By | Services

Has your company had a portion of its microfilm backlog scanned and chose to leave the rest on film? Why? Was it the cost of conversion services? Was it because the film not converted to digital was considered not to be active enough to justify the cost? Or was the time frame to convert all of your film too long?

3 Signs it is Time to take the Plunge! Scan Your Film!

TIME.

Well here is news that might make you want to reconsider conversion services! Until a few years ago it typically took up to 15 minutes to scan a single roll of 16mm film. With enough film it could take year to convert all of the film. In many cases, labor costs alone were enough to justify not completing such an ambitious project. Scanning was always a job a company had to take on themselves. Buying scanners, training and then doing the conversion itself. Most times not being worth the money. “Go buy a NEW reader printer!” Not only can you now scan 4 rolls in the same time it used to take to scan 1, but now you have the option to outsource your scanning! The weight is lifted off of your shoulders.

CONVENIENCE.

With outsourcing being a viable option, there is no need to keep going back to that outdated reader printer! No more spending more time out of your day searching a roll of film with upwards of 6,200 images to find a single document. Better yet, outsourcing the film to our company and getting it back in the same shape you sent it! No worries about lost records, and you gain digital versions of those same records! When you decide to use conversion services you have the ability to search through PDFs and find a document in a matter of minutes instead of hours! What more can you ask for??

MONEY.

By the way, if you have film it leads one to believe that you have a reader printer? How much are you paying to keep up with the maintenance on your microfilm reader? New bulbs and parts to keep it running? Why not INVEST the money you are spending to keep up with the reader on conversion services? Instead of spending hundreds on ink and other piddly items that are needed to keep it running you could be using towards going digital, which you already read can save you labor costs in terms of time wasted using the same reader printer that costs you MORE money to maintain.

From all sides you can see that going digital may be a leap that seems daunting, but can also be beneficial to the growth and success of your business and group! There are so many options out there! No two scanning jobs are the same! Each case is individual and we are ready to get you started!

For more information on Conversion Services! Contact us today!
Our mailing address is:
1933 Troost Ave., Kansas City, Missouri 64108 USA
Contact us today.

Don’t Let History Slip Away Due to Vinegar Syndrome.

By | Services

Vinegar Syndrome

IS YOUR MICROFILM ARCHIVE IN A PICKLE?

You are the protectors of history.

Historians recognized early on that if they wanted to retain the information in newspapers, magazines, and other documents they would need to get a copy on something that was less bulky than paper and would last dramatically longer. Microfilm was their solution. One of the beliefs about microfilm is it’s 500-year life expectancy. However, that was not how it turned out. The first report of film breaking down came from the Government of India in the 1950’s. They stored their film in hot, humid conditions.

As researchers studied the problem it became clear that all film would break down, but if it was not stored in cool and dry environment it would break down faster. “Vinegar Syndrome”- when film produces a vinegar smell…hence the name, also known as Vinegar Rot, is an indicator that the film is breaking down due to storage conditions. The film becomes brittle and shrinks which distorts the images. Deeming the film unusable.

Can You Smell That??

Perhaps you have asked yourself that. The microfilm you have, does it have that vinegar smell? You already have a problem called redox. In all likelihood, when you inspect a roll of microfilm, you will notice little red dots on the film. You cannot get rid of these red dots, but you can prevent it from spreading further. Delaying the decay, but nothing can stop it.

The only alternatives are to make a copy of the film on new film that does not break down or to scan the film and make a digital archive that can be viewed on PC’s and/or laptops or over the web.

Vinegar Syndrome is common in microfilm created before 1984 Is any of your microfilm made before 1984? It probably is on Acetate Film. This film tends to get brittle and tear very easily over time. Depending on the film operator’s attention to details during filming (such as camera quality and focus) and the processing tech’s attention to chemical levels and washing during the processing, the image quality may or may not meet specifications. Differences in film density could result from improper development. On lower density film, the images may be starting to fade away.

What Are the Options?

A choice has to be made, conversion services or creating a duplicate of the film. If you decide to convert the film it would be to a digital form. Having a digital copy creates an easy way to view records that would have been tedious to view. This is a great option for the records on film that are referenced on a regular basis. A complete roll of microfilm can be digitized edge-to-edge, end-to-end and stored as a digital copy. An easily accessible option to preserve the history stored on acetate film is through film scanning; used to preserve our past and make information more readily available for future generations.

If you decide to create a newer duplication of the film there are 2 questions to consider! One being ‘why are you storing these images on film?’ Is it a state requirement or is it because that is what your business or group has always done? This leads me to question two, ‘How often are you referencing these records?’ Are they records or historical documents that you keep for preservation or are they more current records? Re-filming the older film onto newer film can save the life of the roll.

Preserving the history and information on old film from Vinegar Syndrome is a very important action that needs to be taken. Taking the first step towards recovering your records is fairly simple and we can walk you through!

For more information on Microfilm! Contact us today!
Our mailing address is:
1933 Troost Ave., Kansas City, Missouri 64108 USA
Contact us today.

 

5 Points Every Company Should Consider When Outsourcing Their Paper Scanning!

By | Business Process Automation, Document Management Solutions, Services

Reputation, financial strength and longevity

A list of references should be provided by the company, preferably five or more of past and present clients. Naturally the names only of satisfied customers will be provided by the company, however, try to locate customers whose names were not supplied. What is the average tenure? Longevity will help answer this.

Quality Guaranteed

One of the most important factors to understand about a service company is whether it guarantees the quality of its work. The contract with the company should state specifically the scanning must be able to pass specific test to qualify for whatever life expectancy rating the customer needs.

Turnaround time and back up facilities

The companies ability to meet deadlines can be determined through a simple pilot test. Send a representative mix of good and poor-quality documents to each service bureau in consideration. How quickly can the company handle corrections? Does it have a backup plan in case of equipment breakdowns? Do they provide a reliable pickup and delivery service.

Tour the facilities

Touring the facilities can reveal how the company is run as a production operation and whether or not it has all the equipment it claims to have. The facility should be clean and orderly. It should be easy to see if the employees are working in an environment that is conductive to efficiency and if the client’s jobs are being handled with the care they deserve.

Privacy and integrity of data

Finding out how many people will be handling the material and if precautions are in place to ensure that discretion is proactive and enforced rigidly for the customer. Protective storage should be provided in the service bureau’s facilities. The user’s records must be protective from loss or damage while they are processed. After the records are recorded, the service company should have some means of adequately disposing of them if they are not to be returned to the customer. The service company should have a security and fire system and should also be bonded or insured against loss of records by theft, fire, etc.

For more information contact us today!!
Our mailing address is:
1933 Troost Ave., Kansas City, Missouri 64108 USA