Records Management Blog | Practical Records Management

Microfiche Conversion unlocks Legacy Information

Posted by Michael Thomas on Mon, Apr 19, 2010 @ 04:21 PM

Is your organization still accessing and retrieving data stored on microfiche? Are you still paying to maintain and service the old, outdated microfiche reader? If so, there is a better way.

Microfiche is a legacy document format used throughout much of the 20th century as an effective method of archiving information. Typically microfiche are 4 x 6 index cards like documents containing cut up little pieces of microfilm which has been arranged into rows and neatly fit on a card. These documents are typically referred to as jacketed microfiche. For a long time microfiche was a convenient alternative to microfilm because it provided a convenient method of arranging documents.

Old Microfiche ReaderMicrofiche does not images on in a roll, or linear, format but instead in a card-based index that groups like documents together. There is also another type of microfiche referred to as com fiche. COM is an acronym for computer output to microfiche, and typically contains green bar like print statements from mainframe computers.

You can eliminate the old microfiche reader and improve information access by converting your old microfiche data to digital images using our outsourced microfiche conversion services. For a low price per image our services will allow you have all of your old microfiche cards converted to images that can be shared and accessed via any networked PC. We use a combination of leading-edge microfiche scanners and advanced image enhancement technology to produce images that often exceed the quality of the source material.

Once converted to digital images and data that was previously stored in microfiche becomes universally accessible, searchable, and overall more useful to the organization retrieval times that today may be counted within minutes or even hours can be reduced to seconds and space used to store the microfiche can be reallocated to more productive uses.

From a day-to-day perspective images from microfiche that have been converted to digital can be sent to PDF files or TIF images depending on your preference. These images can then be OCR to allow for search within the text or can be indexed based on the data on the header of the card itself. These images along with the metadata can be uploaded to a website or into an internal document management system for easy search and retrieval reducing the amount of time required to find information and improving the overall operating efficiency of your organization.

Pricing for microfiche conversion can vary wildly. With Shoreline, we providing easy-to-understand pricing metric you pay a simple price per page based on the volume of fiche that you looking to convert and index fields required. Depending on the volume and whether or not you have jacketed or COM fiche, the typical price per image is between $.03 and $.06.

Tags: Paperless Office, Document Scanning, Microfiche

Film and Fiche just can't be Found?

Posted by Michael Thomas on Mon, Mar 08, 2010 @ 06:48 AM
Many companies have old files that may include documents that have previously been saved using microfiche or microfilm. In today's environment, however, Microfiche and microfilm are no longer the standard used for archiving documents nor are they convenient for document retrieval, sharing, or printing.  The use of computerMicrofilm Reader technology has brought with it a new standard for document storage, and that is the scanned image.  If you have used microfiche or microfilm in the past you may be wondering what to do with your current archive.

We've found that while many people know that scanning can be used for paper documents, many folks are not aware that other media can also be scanned as well.  Microfiche, microfilm and aperture cards can all be easily and successfully scanned. Better yet, scanning these images into TIF and PDF converts them into useable formats that can be viewed, shared, and printed by anyone. In addition, these can be easily stored electronically and organized within a database for quick access and retrieval. 

Once your documents are converted you'll be able to easily search and review files on your computer.  Having up to date files can reduce the time spent looking for files and viewing them with readers.  Now files can easily be sent between users who need them with no problem.  Your company will be in compliance with information laws such as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and other emerging standards. 

 There are many advantages of converting your microfiche or microfilm to electronic documents, including:

  • Reducing the cost and requirement of storing old microfiche or microfilm
  • Eliminating the need to use reading machines that are quickly becoming obsolete
  • Reducing the expensive maintenance on reading machines
  • Streamlining the process of retrieving files
  • Providing flexible use of electronic files - files can be emailed, printed or faxed
  • Allowing for better organization of files for faster retrieval.

Have you come up with other alternatives for dealing with legacy Film and Fiche files? Please share them in the comments and let me know what you think.

Tags: Scanning, File Storage, Records Management, Microfiche, Microfilm, Scanners

Scanning Microfilm and Microfiche to Digital Images

Posted by Michael Thomas on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 @ 04:53 PM
In the early 1800's, Microfilm was introduced to the world as an efficient, effective method of reducing the physical size needed to store and archive information. Now, nearly 200 years later, many Companies and Government Organizations continue toMicrofilm Roll use Microfilm as an archival solution, although when compared with other modern technologies, there are some inherent limitations that point to Digital Images, such as TIF or PDF being a better solution.

While it is true that Microfilm does give you a long-term, stable archive medium, that is human readable, it is also subject to some of the following limitations:

  • Limited Accessibility - Microfilm, Microfiche, and Aperture Cards may only be reviewed by one user at a time.
  • Physical Space Requirements - Microfilm, while taking significantly less space than paper, still consumes physical space, and must be manually accessed for retrieval.
  • Specialized Equipment needed for Reading
  • Microfilm cannot be easily printed, emailed, and/or faxed without the need for manual intervention.

Converting Microfilmed documents to digital images, therefore is a bit like converting old Vinyl Albums to MP3's. It can help unlock the content and help to make the information both portable and shareable, while allowing for easier, distributed access. The same concepts hold true for the conversion of Film to TIF or PDF.

For more information about converting Microfilm, Microfiche, and Aperture cards to Digital Images, visit Shoreline Records Management's Website..

Tags: Scanning, Microfiche, Microfilm