Tag Archives: digital images

Historical Society Microfiche To Digital

Scanning Microfiche Containing Genealogical Records

Many historical and genealogical records are stored on microfiche cards. This is available to someone interested in the information for private and or historical uses. In many libraries and other locations around the United States, they have microfiche readers to help you find what you need.

Converting the microfiche to digital allows this process to be much easier. Microfiche to digital conversion is the process of scanning microfiche with high tech equipment, and creating an image that is stored on computers. Microfiche to digital conversion can make a big difference to genealogy researchers that are looking for specific information contained within a large collection of data.

history microfiche

Traditional Uses vs Digital Conversion

A good way to compare these processes is to consider the differences between the two formats and what can be accomplished with each. Traditional microfiche readers rely on you to manually locate the film, insert it into the reader, then finding the general area where your data may be, and then hunting for names as you would find a word in a book. A Microfiche to digital conversion creates digital images of the entire collection.

All the data is then stored in a computer and can be viewed as many time as you like. The scanning of microfiche to digital technology has been available for a few years and is the logical means for optimization. Microfiche readers and printers where great years ago, but the time it takes to find information is greatly reduced thanks to a microfiche to digital conversion process.

Searchable PDFs or Text Files

There is even better news. After the Microfiche to Digital process is complete, we can perform an OCR or, Optical Character Recognition, to the files. By doing this, all files that were converted from microfiche to digital can be data searched by simply typing a name in the computer. Imagine you are looking for persons name and you don’t know where it is within thousands of records. The value of microfiche scanning is realized when you are able to type in the name and have the computer bring up the page and point to the location where the name is found.Microfiche to Digital CONTACT US

Myths About Transferring Microfiche to Digital Image

Microfiche Myths

There are a few misconceptions about microfiche in general and microfiche conversion. Here are some good ones:

People don’t use microfiche anymore

Do people still use microfiche? Actually, yes, they do. Schools still use 16mm microfiche files which contain your dreaded permanent record. City or country land records and blueprints are stored on 35mm microfiche. Electronic payroll records are exported to COM microfiche. The U.S. government gives veterans their service records on microfiche. Automobile and vehicle manuals exist on microfiche and are used by mechanics and part order companies.There are many industries which still use microfiche.

Microfiche scanning is expensive

Converting microfiche to digital images is not expensive if Generation Imaging is performing your project. Pricing is based on volume and larger volume microfiche projects are very cheap per image.Even if you only have one card or a one batch, the cost to convert microfiche is much lower than you would expect if you send the work to a microfiche scanning company. Now, if you buy a microfiche reader printer or scanner, you need to invest thousands of dollars in the microfiche machine alone.

Microfiche is microfilm

roll film

Microfiche means “little card”. Microfiche are flat plastic sheets with small images. Microfilm are rolls of film, which look like small movie reels. Confusing microfilm and microfiche is common. The less frequent all-encompassing term is “microform”, which covers all micrographic media. To make matters even more confusing, something microfiche was actually microfilm- cut into strips and placed in microfiche jackets.

Microfiche is not produced anymore

Believe it or not, but a quick look at government bids reveals that microfiche generation still happens today. Many states have data retention laws which require microfiche as hard copies for legal reasons and for disaster plans. (For example, imagine if one day an EMP bomb destroys our digital computer systems or the cloud.)

Microfiche lasts forever

microfiche vinegar

Although microfiche was originally created to preserve history and civilization, depending on how they are created, they can deteriorate if not stored correctly. There are many industry standard preservation techniques. The basic assumption of microfiche preservation was that they had to be stored in a climate controlled room and kept away from the elements. Unfortunately, because so many people do not follow these strict standards, microfiche can fade, smell like vinegar, become brittle, or actually lose their images. CONTACT US

COM Microfiche Scanning

What is COM Microfiche Scanning?

One of the most popular types of microfiche is COM (computer output microfiche). In fact many veterans in the microfiche conversion industry have the picture of a COM microfiche in their mind when they use the word “microfiche”.

Back in the day, the micrographic industry was all about creating microfiche and microfilm. Salespeople would sell COM machines, which would out the computer data to the microfiche cards. Accessories included COM duplicator machines. COM microfiche scanning is the process of converting those cards to digital images.

Scanning COM fiche is necessary if you are working with account records contained on the fiche and you grow weary of using a microfiche reader printer or EyeCOM fiche viewer. With the images digitized and indexed, you could search for specific accounts easier.

How Many Images are on a COM microfiche?

Generally there are 208 images (16 columns x 13 rows) or 270 images (18 columns x 15 rows) on COM fiche, with some variance in-between. For example some columns may not be filled with images and some people do not count the index frames. There is a special type of COM fiche called ultrafiche, which could have hundreds more of images!

microfiche scanning

The Microfiche Scanner

Most microfiche scanners must be set up to create a grid to line-up over the microfiche card. Other scanners can create image ribbons which can be broken down into individual images. Still other scanners could take a snapshot of the entire microfiche card, however you need special software to view that type.

For most microfiche scanners, the digital format received would be single page images or multi-page images. These types are usually PDF, PDF/A, JPEG. JPEG 2000, bi-tonal Group IV TIF, uncompressed greyscale TIF, and LZW TIFF.

There are many microfiche scanners sold online. These can be bought second hand from a microfiche equipment dealer, directly from a manufacturer, or from a reseller who makes a commission from the manufacturer. In addition to buying the microfiche scanner, you may have to get a license or maintenance plan. You must know how to operate the microfiche machine, and be able to train others.

Or, you could outsource your microfiche to a microfiche scanning company who will give you a price per image (or price per card). If you are on the fence about if you should purchase a microfiche scanner or have a company scan the microfiche for you, feel free to contact us for a free estimate and guidance to help you come to a decision.

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