Who still uses microfiche?

Microfiche, a type of microform that consists of a sheet of film with micro images of documents printed on it, was once a popular way to store and access large volumes of documents in a space-efficient manner. However, in recent years, the use of microfiche has declined significantly, as more and more organizations have turned to digital technologies for record-keeping and storage.

So, who still uses microfiche? One group that continues to rely on microfiche is libraries and archives. Many of these institutions have large collections of historical documents and other materials that were originally recorded on microfiche, and they continue to maintain and use these collections as a way to preserve the information they contain. In addition, some libraries and archives may still use microfiche as a way to store copies of more recent documents, particularly if they are looking to save space or if the documents are not in high demand.

Another group that may still use microfiche is government agencies. Some government agencies have large amounts of legacy documents that were recorded on microfiche, and they may continue to maintain and use these collections as a way to access historical records. In addition, some government agencies may still use microfiche for record-keeping purposes, particularly if they are looking to save space or if the documents are not frequently accessed.

Finally, a small number of businesses and organizations may still use microfiche as a way to store and access documents. However, these cases are becoming increasingly rare, as most businesses have adopted digital technologies for record-keeping and storage.

Overall, it is clear that the use of microfiche has declined significantly in recent years, as more and more organizations have turned to digital technologies for record-keeping and storage. While there are still some libraries, archives, government agencies, and businesses that rely on microfiche, they are increasingly in the minority, as the vast majority of organizations have embraced digital technologies for these purposes.

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Who is Damian Hospital

Damian Hospital is co-founder of Generation Imaging, a digital conversion company located in South Florida in the United States. Generation Imaging was founded in 2009.

Damian Hospital got into the micrographics business in 1998 in Sunrise, Florida, where he worked his way up from an entry level position to upper management by cross-training in all aspects of digital conversion project workflow.

Damian Hospital got his hands dirty with microfilm scanning, microfiche scanning, aperture card scanning, color slide scanning, document scanning, indexing images, image processing, image enhancement, Quality Control, Customer Service, hiring and training of new employees, technical writer for procedures, Human Resources, marketing, and bids, project lead for testing samples, and shipping. Damian Hospital was the first in the company to perform Search Optimization tasks and blogging and spearheading the digital marketing platform.

Damian Hospital is known to be an intense, hard worker, and a bit of a perfectionist. He delighted into having scanning production contents in the 2000s with his co-workers to see who could scan the most. He did not have patient for inter-company politics, selfish workers, or melodrama.

Damian Hospital has seen all the different types of microfilm and microfiche. There’s simply nothing he has not seen. Being in the trenches and dealing with so many projects and scanning equipment over the years, nothing surprises him anymore and he could troubleshoot with the best of them.

Damian Hospital brought all of these experiences to Generation Imaging in Davie and continues to be efficient and excel at delivering microform services at the lowest possible price. All work is performed in Florida, and is not subcontracted overseas. Generation Imaging has two offices in Hialeah and Coral Springs.

Damian Hospital


The Various Names for Microfiche

What is definition of “Microfiche”?

And why do some people call it different things?


Every industry has its own lingo. Sometimes even within the industry professionals use different terms.

Oxford Dictionary defines microfiche as “a flat piece of film containing microphotographs of the pages of a newspaper, catalog, or other document”.

Etymonline.com says the term came into use in 1950, from French.

“Micro-” of course is the prefix meaning small, and “fiche” the French word for “card, index card, slip, form”.

Those in the micrographics field are used to the word “microfiche” because that field has mastered the technique of photographing written or printed pages in reduced form to produce microfiche.

Microphotography has its roots from the 1800s as it was a form of art. It eventually became used in espionage and passing coded messages.

It should be simple to understand that microfiche is a flat sheet with shrunken images on them.

So why do some people call “microfiche” microfilm? And what’s up with microfiche jackets, COM fiche, step-and-repeat microfiche, duplicated fiche, Microx, and aperture cards?

Well, it doesn’t help that the Wikipedia editors decided to have roll film and microfiche in the same article entitled “microform”. Microform is indeed the generic, all-encompassing term for all types of microphotographic reproductions. However, if someone says that they have “a drawer full of microform”, there is no indication of what type of film or fiche is in the collection, or they actually mean a “mixed collection of various media”.

To add insult to injury, jacketed microfiche is actually made up of cut microfilm which is then inserted into channels (jackets). Therefore, jacketed fiche are indeed composed of cut microfilm. And, of course, “film” can be strips or spooled. So as you can see, it is easy to fall into a word trap here!

Microfiche can also be 16mm, 35mm, and have various colors (clear positive, black negative, purple or blue duplicates), shapes, and organization.

Sometimes it is easier to remember things by visualization. Let’s keep it simple:

Microfiche is a flat sheet with reduced documents on them, like this:


THIS is microfiche

Or this:

combo fiche

35mm and 16mm combo fiche


Or this:

computer output media

COM Fiche


Or other various types of flat sheets.

It does not look like a spool or reel of film. Nor is it opaque on cardboard. Nor is it a Kodak mounted slide.


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

‚ÄúThis 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.

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