Author Archives: Damian Hospital

Storing Microfiche vs Digitizing Microfiche

microfiche storage

A photo of an iron mountain.

If your company or organization has thousands of microfiche you have probably wondered if you ought to be paying monthly storage fees with a document storage company or just have the microfiche converted into digital image.

The largest document storage service in the world provides storage for microfilm and microfiche, audio and videotapes, film, X-rays, blueprints, vital records, and courier operations, the collection, handling, disposal of sensitive documents for corporate customers; and information destruction services, information governance and digital solutions, and fulfillment and technology escrow services.

However the storage and record retrieval fees add up over time and require a contract. A shortcut is to get your microfiche records converted into a TIFF or PDF. Generation Imaging can scan your microfiche and even index them by the title bars or document fields per image. After the microfiche is scanned, you can upload them to your server, computers, or cloud and do with them as you wish. Best of all, no more monthly maintenance, retrieve, or delivery fees. You will have all of your microfiche images in your hands for instant retrieval, all for a low project cost. CONTACT US

What’s On Your Permanent Record From School?

microfiche school record

“This is going on your permanent record!”

I scan microfiche for a living. I have seen all types of microfiche containing various documents. Such examples include medical records, land records, police records, building blueprints, sewer maps, aerial photographs, military personal records, National Archives, registers, newspapers, accounting and payroll records, marriage licenses, court transcripts, and countless other types of documents. In fact, almost anything that was created on paper documents has made it to microfiche at one point.

permanent record

Where Are Your Permanent Records, Anyway?

If you have ever wondering if your school permanent record really existed, I could vouch that it does. The majority of schools keep them on hard paper which look like folders, like a thin cardboard. Alternatives include microfilm reels or microfiche. The last couple of decades if schools allocate funds in their budget, they can have the paper, microfilm, and microfiche scanned to digital image, indexed by student name. Once digitized, the school can store the PDFs or TIFFs on their computers and/or server. Depending on state law, the paper, microfilm, or microfiche can be shredded or incinerated to save space in the school. So your permanent record will live on with the potential of unlimited copies- truly permanent (until the end of civilization, at least).

permanent record

What is On Your Permanent Records?

Depending on the local laws, your permanent record has your biographical information, such as name, date of birth, social security number, place of birth, parent’s names and telephone numbers, photo, date of registering and leaving, teachers’s names, grades, and standardized test results. There have been fear-mongering articles about data collection of pregnancies, mental health, and economic status, but I have not seen those on school permanent records. I have seen psych evaluations and write-ups, but not in school permanent records.

convert microfiche

What About The Bad Stuff?

That’s all I’ve seen in decades of converting school records to digital images. If you were expelled, obviously that would have been noted because you it meant you were transferred out to another school. If you were suspended, a note is made. However, if you had detention, were disciplined, yelled out, had a parent come up to settle an issue, talked during a firedrill, or other standard childhood mischief, don’t worry about it. In fact, for the most part only you have legal access to these records anyway.

So if a teacher or principal ever threatened you by saying your misbehavior was placed in your permanent record, it was just a threat of punishment. 99% of the information contained in your school permanent records are your boring contact information, grades, and test scores, which you need to transfer to another school or apply to a college/university.

microfiche school record CONTACT US

Microfiche is Still Being Used, No Matter What People Say

Is Microfiche Still Used Today?
microfiche still used

EdTech Magazine published an article entitled “Microfiche Was the Dawn of Multimedia Research“. It describes how it is as easy as “hitting Ctrl F” for students to research today and that “[a] millennial college student today might not even know what a microfiche is”. Well, no argument about the millennials. But microfiche is not dead. As the article begrudgingly admits at the end: “..universities remained optimistic about microforms for the purpose of historical archiving, and BU [Boston University] still maintains their microform department today” and “[t]hough not an easy tool for mainstream research, microfiche can have niche uses — Tedium reports of expensive classic comic book archives — among researchers and history buffs.”

Of course, the article was written from the higher education perspective, and academia has a habit of not knowing that there is a world outside of campus. Professors and students like to extrapolate trends on campus to the real world. However, the real world has microfiche in many other niches. State, county, and city governments still use them. Microfiche contain payroll records, student records, building departments, land records, marriage certificates, medical files, court cases, criminal records, genealogy records, newspapers, books, parts manuals, military service records, and many other types of documents.

Heck, even the article stated that Boston University has impossible-to-find material still contained on microfiche: “Ph.D. students use them when they need an obscure journal or archived material”. So what a minute, higher education: do you mean to say that the internet doesn’t have all of the world’s knowledge? Yup, the rest of it is contained on microfiche, microfilm, slides, books, magazines, newspapers, ancient texts, and oral traditions which have no been converted to digital image. The technological hubris never ceases to amaze me.

Granted, many organizations need microfiche converted to PDF or TIFF to allow easy search and online distribution, and many of them still struggle with the old ways and use microfiche reader printers or microfiche viewers. Microfiche is still used in 2018, and for some organizations it is still a convenient way to storing files compared to paper files, as they lacked the ability to convert the paper files to digital images at the beginning. Some organizations have always done it this way, and they can’t or don’t want to change, especially if they have a microfiche backfile. If they were to go a digital route, there are costs involved. Some legal or government agencies still believe that because microfiche has a lifespan of over 100 years that they are more safe than CDs, DVDs, and even digital images. Some researchers are traditionalists who prefer microfiche like that of film photography over digital.

Either way, it may be shocking for some people, but for someone in the microfiche scanning industry, microfiche can be found in hundreds of industries, and although unlikely, it it possible that college students of today will come across them in their job at some point. CONTACT US

Digitizing Combo Microfiche

What is Combo Microfiche?

Combo microfiche is defined as a microfiche fiche jacket containing both 16mm and 35mm frames.”Combo microfiche” is also called “combo fiche”, “combo-fiche”, and sometimes the misnomer “dual format microfiche”. The “combo” word is obviously short for “combination”, indicating that the 16mm film strips and 35mm film strips were combined to create one microfiche card. Many describe it as “a microfiche that has 16mm and 35mm images”, which is an accurate observation.

combo fiche

Combo-fiche is unique but not rare.

 

Combo fiche is unique because most microfiche is either all 16mm or all 35mm. However by no means is combo fiche rare. They are used mostly by government building departments, sewer departments, or contain property records. Basically, the 35mm images are blueprints, maps, or engineering drawings, while the accompanied 16mm frames are usually the accompanied 8.5 x 11 or similarly sized descriptive documents. Both types belong to the same case file, address, property lot, or drawing number.

How Can They Be Named?

The indexing information is usually contained on the title bar of the microfiche. There are times when even more detailed indexing is required, so the individual images would need to be manually keyed via data entry. However, for the bulk of digital conversions naming the fiche by the information from the header is fine.

Combo fiche can be converted into tiff, pdf, or jpeg images. Most clients opt for multipdf,multitiff files, or single page tiffs. That preference is usually based on what system the client is using to import and view the images. If the client does not have a system, it is easy to open up a multi-page image and scroll through the pages on any computer operating system or pdf viewer.

How to Scan Combo Fiche?

Not all microfiche scanning companies can scan combo fiche. You need special equipment to digitize combo microfiche because of the unique nature of having a microfiche with two different reduction ratios. Combo fiche is a symbol of how different the microfilming industry is compared to the microfilm scanning industry is. You see, the people creating combo fiche thought it was very convenient to put the drawings with their respective documents instead of making a separate card for the 35mm drawings. However what they did not know (or care about) is that putting two different reduction ratios is a nightmare for future digital conversions.

For combo fiche, the 35mm frames are probably 12X to 16X while the 16mm frames could be 22X to 28X (although to be technical, the ranges could be even more varied, but this is the average based on our experience.) Well, when the times comes to actually scan combo fiche, the scanner could only be set up to digitize one reduction ratio per card. This means that the scanning manager has to make a choice to either choose an acceptable reduction ratio as a compromise (and risk not blowing the images up to their original size) or scan the combo fiche with two passes from two different set ups, which cost double the money. In other words, the price for combo fiche could be a 35mm minimum fee per card + 16mm like they were two separate cards.

The other reason why not all companies can convert combo fiche is that some of them are on large format jackets. A large format microfiche is too wide to be placed on the microfiche scanner’s glass platen. The only way to convert large format microfiche for the company to buy an additional adapter to replace the original platen so the large format combo fiche could be placed down and loaded.

We Can Scan Combo Microfiche For You

Anyway, those are two problems for other microfiche scanning companies, not this one. We are experts on combo fiche and can scan combo fiche for you with no problems- after all, as of January 2018 no one else on the internet has written anything as in-depth on this topic or even took a photo of a combo fiche like we have.

So if you have a scanning opportunity for combo microfiche, please feel free to contact us for a free quote. CONTACT US

How to Convert Auto Parts Microfiche with Scanner

Scan Auto Parts Microfiche with Generation Imaging

Do you need to read an auto parts manual contained on microfiche? Are you a mechanic, customer service rep, autoparts reseller, or actual manufacturer? You can try to find an old microfiche reader or even a microfiche printer at a library, or you could send Generation Imaging the microfiche in the mail and have us scan them.

car parts microfiche scanning

Automobile mechanical parts and vehicle manuals were filmed on step-and-repeat microfiche. They are microfiche cards with genuine OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) part drawings and index direct created by the manufacturer. We can convert those car parts to pdf, tiff, or jpeg. If you would like an extra service, we could also enhance them to become searchable PDFs (also called OCR). Auto parts microfiche have all the parts from the major manufacturers. So if you need to look up something obscure like 2013 Audi A5 Cabriolet L4 2.0 Alternator Diagram, if you can get your hands on that microfiche, we can convert that for you.

There are a few reasons why you may need vehicle parts manuals to be digitized to image. You could be a mechanic, a DIY owner, or a service manager from a motor vehicle corporation. We have scanned many different types of companies over the years, and not just cars. We have also converted jet skis and construction vehicle manuals on microfiche.

List of some car brands on microfiche:

Alfa Romeo
Aston Martin
Audi
Bentley
Benz
BMW
Bugatti
Cadillac
Chevrolet
Chrysler
Citroen
Corvette
DAF
Dacia
Daewoo
Daihatsu
Datsun
De Lorean
Dino
Dodge
Farboud
Ferrari
Fiat
Ford
Honda
Hummer
Hyundai
Jaguar
Jeep
KIA
Koenigsegg
Lada
Lamborghini
Lancia
Land Rover
Lexus
Ligier
Lincoln
Lotus
Martini
Maserati
Maybach
Mazda
McLaren
Mercedes
Mercedes-Benz
Mini
Mitsubishi
Nissan
Noble
Opel
Peugeot
Pontiac
Porsche
Renault
Rolls-Royce
Rover
Saab
Seat
Skoda
Smart
Spyker
Subaru
Suzuki
Toyota
Vauxhall
Volkswagen CONTACT US