For Optimal Records Preservation, Purchase a Microfilm Scanner

February 7, 2017 4:05 am Published by Leave your thoughts

With more people interested in historical research and seeing original documents, preserving records is a vital priority. That is why your library, zoning office or historical society can benefit from a microfilm scanner. While there is an effort to convert documents to digital format, microfilm remains a preferred media. Here is why you should purchase a microfilm scanner and never underestimate the power of microfilm in document preservation:

  • Captures original: An interesting conundrum with digital documents is that they are not always considered authentic. There are photo-editing programs that can change digital documents, so many state agencies must undergo procedures to certify them. This can require extra time and money. Microfilm captures an identical image of the document and is not easily edited. That is why it is considered more authentic and reliable than digital copies. In fact, it has become more important with records retention laws like Sarbanes-Oxley.
  • Cost effective: Setting up microfilm and providing a scanner for reading it is less costly than setting up databases of scanned digital documents. This is why libraries often preserve newspapers and old periodicals on microfilm—it is an authentic rendering that is less burdensome to tight budgets.
  • Easily preserved: If microfilm is cared for well, it can last up to 500 years. Documents remain available long after their paper counterparts disintegrate. Once created, microfilm requires little maintenance to remain intact. Mainly, just keep it in dark and cool storage and instruct patrons on proper handling.
  • Remains accessible: With digital documents, you risk technology advancing so quickly that old PDF files and other forms may no longer be recognized by your devices. Computer technology often evolves beyond media sources, and it renders them obsolete. Think of the number of floppy discs out there that are not accessible with your laptop! The situation with microfilm is different. Even if technology advances, it remains legible, since industry standards in scanners require that they work with old and new microfilm alike. Even if you upgrade to the latest and greatest microfilm scanner, you will still be able to access microfilm produced in 1995.
  • Salvageable: We all know paper records are vulnerable. One building fire or natural disaster, and they can all disappear. Digital records may survive these events, but it will take considerable effort to save them through data recovery efforts. Microfilm is easily duplicated and scanned, meaning you can keep multiple copies in several places. It is also durable enough to survive most disasters, especially if you store it in a safe place. Once you retrieve it, all you need is a microfilm scanner to access it.
  • Space management: When you are facing budgetary struggles, there is always a chance you may be forced to move into a smaller space. Libraries often convert to paperless methods to reduce storage requirements. Converting documents to microfilm offers all the advantages above, while also saving 95 percent of space required for paper documents. If you want to save space while enjoying better certainty than digital systems, converting to microfilm and purchasing a good scanner are excellent options for keeping documents intact and accessible.

To see what a microfilm scanner can do for your library or government agency, contact Microfilm Equipment and Supplies Inc. today.

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