Q. How much does this service cost?
A. The factors that influence the cost of producing microfilm images from digital files are, the file sizes of the images, volume and frequency. Having Graphic Sciences produce some sample images for your files provide us with the date we need to understand machine process time etc. and provides our customers with a way to review and approve of the image format that works best for them. Most applications for 16mm microfilm are priced well below .05 per image. Some applications on 35mm microfilm are considerably more.
Q. How can images be delivered to Graphic Sceinces for processing?
A. Most clients send us CDs or DVDs, however, we also receive images via FTP.
Q. If more than one copy is required can copies be made?
A. Yes. If additional copies are made it is most likely that they would be considered “working copies” and they would probably be produced on a non silver media such as Diazo microfilm. Diazo microfilm does not meet archival standards but is a very durable film that is most suitable for daily use.
The day to day management of information is most efficiently accomplished via digital media. However, some types of documents have longer storage requirements that are required by their organizations Records Retention policies. Digital images converted to microfilm provides the very best security backup as possible. Properly produced and stored microfilm has been tested to last 500 years. The choice to preserve information on microfilm media is driven by the legitimate concern that digital media and software changes so rapidly. Digital data storage has seen multiple changes over the last 30 years. (tape, magnetic discs, optical discs, Floppy discs, CDs, DVDs and whatever becomes the dominant media next.
Microfilm meets the standard of long term storage and can always be read visually and can be converted back to digital at any time. Often, microfilm is stored away from the clients offices in underground vaults that assure complete protection from disaster thus providing the protection that important records require. Examples of document types stored in these conditions are County and State Vital Records such as Birth, Death, marriage and Land Records such as Deeds and Mortgages.
While microfilm properly produced and stored with today’s media, microfilm produced through the early 80’s was produced on an acetate film base. Since then polyester has replaced acetate as the microfilm base media. It has been discovered that over time, acetate based films experience a process of decomposition. The symptoms of this condition is exhibited in two ways. First, the most obvious is by an odor that is emitted from the film. The odor is similar to vinegar and thus described as “Vinegar Syndrom”. The second and less obvious symptom is the microfilm appears to remained “curled”, when pulled from the reel. When microfilm is pulled away from the reel, with the exception of the first few inches at the end, it should hang straight down. If either of these symptoms are present, corrective action may be required.
A second less obvious, concern is a condition called Redox. The media that images are recorded on in all microfilm media is called the emulsion layer that is a coating that is applied to the microfilm base. The emulsion layer is a product made of silver crystals that react to light and when passed through a chemical process, form the image that represents the microfilmed (or photographed) document. Redox is a result of oxidation of the silver crystals. In the early stages of Redox, small blemishes or spots appear in the images. These blemishes are not obvious to the average person unless they notice them when trying to read or print an image. If this condition is present, it will continue to worsen and corrective action will be required.
As an authorized Kodak Document Conversion Center, Graphic Science’s technicians have met Kodak’s training requirements and can be called on to analyze your microfilm collection. Graphic Sciences offers a free initial inspection to determine if any further action is required. If further action is required, a practical plan can be developed that can prevent any further deterioration.