During the 1980s and onwards, the most efficient way to preserve documents was with microfilm and microfiche technologies. Microfilm is a copy of a magazine, book, newspaper, or other paper medium that has been copied to a roll of film, similar to a camera. The film is, then, inserted into a cumbersome reader and the user has to struggle to zoom into the information they seek. Microfiche utilizes the same principle, but is like individual slides or negatives of the document. The microfiche is inserted into a reader, but like microfilm, these tools are becoming obsolete. They often require the aid of a reference librarian to assist the average user. When one of these professionals is unavailable, these valuable sources of information remain unused and untouched due to difficulty of access.
Why are microfilm and microfiche so widespread? How can these be easier for public and private usage? How do we keep these documents from becoming forgotten, dusty relics?
Microfilm and microfiche were used to preserve information, despite the fact that this information becomes buried because of inaccessibility. Originally, institutions like public libraries sought to preserve delicate, filmy newspapers with rolls of microfilm. The documents were tantamount to maintaining the original sources of public record. The daily newspapers are frequently consulted for research purposes and these two technologies would keep the documents from damage from frequent usage, mildew and exposure to other elements, and other threats to providing an accurate record.
Another phenomenon that was common practice in libraries and corporations alike was to preserve engineering periodicals. This was necessary because engineers needed to be cognizant of prior patents or to reference these documents when innovating earlier models. Eventually, companies and libraries moved towards digitalization, or keeping scanned copies of these documents online, as opposed to storing them in the aforementioned, film-based microfilm and microfiche.
While the digital revolution has made more information easy to manage online, here at Imagex, we provide companies or organizations with the ability to scan and upload their arsenals of microfiche and microfilm. We do this through an easy, systemic process, and are amazed at how time-saving clients find our services. In fact, the vaults of information with important past knowledge results in new discoveries and research frequently. Ready to get started today?
Contact us to learn more about scanning microfilm and microfiche here.