What You Need to Know About Preserving Documents

December 20, 2017 10:43 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When you work in a government office, library or other institution that requires the careful and proper preservation of documents, historical or otherwise, it’s very important to take this process seriously. A majority of our history is available to us due to the careful preservation of documents by people who came before us, and it’s vital that we continue to preserve documents and photos to ensure they last a long time.

Document preservation has many facets, however. Simply uploading a digital document to the cloud or storing a paper document in a filing cabinet will not preserve that content for years and years. Careful physical preservation techniques must be followed to keep physical documents in good shape, and digitization of those documents should be the next step, preferably via microfilm scanners. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning on preserving documents.

Physical preservation

Physical preservation of documents is what has allowed us to analyze documents from long ago and is an art unto itself. If you’re preserving an important physical document, it’s imperative you handle the document in a clean, dry space using clean hands and surfaces. Wearing gloves can help avoid the transfer of oils and dirt.

Storage for physical documents is also critical. Documents should be covered and kept away from direct light lest they fade and become illegible. Storage should also be airtight and humidity kept under control.

Often, though, physical preservation is not enough to keep documents safe. Original copies can easily be lost or destroyed by fires, floods and other events. If digital copies are not made of these documents, they could be lost forever.

Digitization using microfilm scanners

The most reliable and responsible way to preserve documents in today’s world is by scanning and digitizing original historic documents. Not only does digitization preserve an original copy with all images and content, it also allows for multiple copies to be made and stored in different locations. This helps prevent the potential loss of the document as a whole.

Using microfilm scanners, libraries and government agencies can cut down on storage space and costs by keeping microfilm copies of valuable documents. Microfilm can last up to 500 years when used correctly!

The best part about microfilm is that it’s self-sustaining and technologically independent, meaning it won’t become obsolete or unreadable in the future like, for example, floppy disks have.

By digitizing documents during the preservation process, you’re helping to ensure that generations of people ahead of you can access and use the information stored within those documents in a reliable and easy-to-use way.

Microfilm Equipment and Supplies Inc. can help you digitize your documents

If your organization has historical or important documents that needs to preserved and digitized, rely on Microfilm Equipment and Supplies Inc. to provide you with the microfilm equipment you’ll need to back up your treasured documents. We’ve served clients in a wide variety of groups and organizations for over 35 years with reliable microfilm machine sales and maintenance. Give us a call today!

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