Converted to Microfilm

We Can Convert Your Scanned Images to Microfilm

Scanned Images Are Converted into Microfilm

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

You've got questions, we've got answers.

  • How much does it cost to convert microfiche to digital images?

    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 average number of images per microfiche, how the images will be identified to provide easy and economical retrieval, images quality of the microfiche and volume.

  • Does Graphic Sciences have the experience to meet my requirements?

    Graphic Sciences has been providing imaging services 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.

  • How will I know you can meet my quality expectations?

    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 process 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.

  • Is a formal contract required?

    For smaller projects, no. Our customers range from individuals that have as few as one microfiche 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.

  • Is microfilm considered archival – how long will it last?

    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.

  • How do I get the microfiche to you?

    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.