The Difference Between Microfilm and Microfiche

July 17, 2018 10:30 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Since its beginnings in the late 19th century, microfilm has been used for a wide range of document storage and preservation applications. In the 1960s, microfiche was developed to offer additional document storage capabilities. Today, both methods of document conversion and preservation are still in use in various public offices, libraries, educational institutions and museums. They make it possible for researchers, educators, officials and members of the public to access and study important historical information without compromising the original copies, and in cases when those original copies are missing, destroyed or otherwise unavailable.

However, there is still some confusion about the differences between microfilm and microfiche machines and technology. Learn a little bit more about what makes these types of technology distinct so you can determine which type is better for your specific applications.

Microfiche vs. microfilm basics

In essence, the main difference between microfiche and microfilm is the format of the copies. Microfilm is a film material, while microfiche is a card or sheet material. Each format allows documents, images and other kinds of information to be stored in a very compact manner, which makes it much more efficient for keeping a great deal of information in a smaller space. This format is ideal for libraries, archives and historical societies that deal with important information that can’t safely or reliably be accessed through original copies.

In addition to this basic difference, there are some other things that distinguish microfilm and microfiche. For one thing, there’s the average lifespan of each type of film. Microfiche tends to last longer than microfilm, which explains why it gained in popularity so much after its initial invention. Although newer microfilm materials offer increased longevity, microfiche is still favored by many institutions when it comes to chronicling important records and photographs.

Because of its increased lifespan, microfiche also comes at a higher price point on average than microfilm. For some organizations, the lower price of microfilm makes it a cost-effective information preservation option even if it requires more frequent replacement. However, there is a clear trend towards microfiche, even for organizations that traditionally utilized microfilm.

Now, since the advent of digital technology, microfiche machines have been developed to transfer information stored on microfilm and microfiche to digital copies. While microfiche and microfilm aren’t going away any time soon, the latest microfiche machines will certainly help promote the effective storage and preservation of information and make it much easier for researchers, officials and members of the public to access important documents and archived information.

Find microfilm and microfiche machines

If you want to find out about what new and improved microfilm and microfiche machines have to offer, make sure to check out the inventory at Microfilm Equipment and Supplies Inc. Even though the basic functionality of microfiche and microfilm readers has remained consistent over the years, our equipment offers additional features and heightened levels of quality that are designed to provide the highest possible image clarity and digital conversion capabilities. We would love to walk you through the various products we offer and how you can benefit from them. Get in touch with us to learn more!

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