Q. How much does it cost to convert aperture cards to digital images?
A. Since there are several factors to be considered, we need to know more about your particular requirements. A brief discussion or e-mail exchange can produce cost pricing estimates. The factors considered in determining pricing include the condition of the cards, image quality consistency and how the cards are titled.
Q. Does Graphic Sciences have the experience and appropriate procedures in place to make sure they meet my requirements?
A. Graphic Sciences has been creating and converting aperture cards for business and government since 1987. We have an excellent reputation for quality work at affordable pricing and have an impressive list of satisfied customers. When we know more about your particular requirements, we can match you with references that match your profile.
Q. How will I know you can meet my quality expectations?
A. Our job is to produce readable images that can be retrieved on demand. To produce high quality images at an affordable price, we must apply automation to the process. However, no two projects are alike. In some cases image quality can vary from image to image. All test images (and production images) are processed through our quality control procedures to be sure that “poor” images are re-scanned at a more appropriate setting.
There is no charge for the test and we send the images to you for your approval. Once that process is complete, you have a set of images that serves as a “benchmark” for the actual work performed.
Q. Is a formal contract required?
A. For smaller projects, no. Our customers range from individuals that have as few as one roll to projects consisting of millions of images. Larger projects are formalized by either a contract drafted by the client or documented by a Statement of Work that we produce that simply outlines buyer and seller responsibilities.
Q. Is microfilm considered archival – how long will it last?
A. Microfilm is considered an archival media meaning that it is expected to last 500 years if properly produced and stored. However, microfilm aperture cards consist of multiple film types and often will not provide secure long term storage. In some cases, the microfilm contained in the cards may consist of an acetate base. If that is the case, that base material is expected to deteriorate over time rendering the images unreadable. Once the deterioration process has begun, a vinegar like odor is emitted from the film and will be noticeable. Another symptom of deterioration will be a “curling” of the film which is also quite noticeable.
Today, digital imaging has replaced most microfilm information systems. However, digital media is not considered “archival”. To satisfy long term or permanent retention, we routinely convert digital images to microfilm for long term storage. Graphic Sciences is a Kodak Document Conversion Center and employs procedures and testing to assure compliance to archival film processing standards.
Q. How do I get the aperture cards to you?
A. We receive work from all over the country. We provide pickup and delivery and we also receive work via UPS, FedEx, and U.S. Mail. If you do choose to have us produce sample images, and wish to send them via a delivery or mail service, please let us know when to expect them. We track all shipments and will contact you when it arrives.
Prior to the dominance of digital technology in business communication, aperture cards played a significant role in storing and retrieving engineering drawings. Aperture card systems provided faster retrieval. Automated printing to paper and inexpensive backup copies made the technology dominate the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s.
Today, many valuable collections of engineering drawings remain on aperture cards. Too often, the equipment required to display and print the images has become obsolete or too expensive to repair or replace.