Microfilm Scanning

Microfilm scanning, microfiche scanning, and aperture card scanning

Microfilm, microfiche, and aperture cards were arguably the first examples of technology that allowed for the storage of vast amounts of information onto a medium that was both compact and easy to use, and made the archiving of entire libraries of books or decades worth of periodical print runs possible for the first time. Seventy years after the technology was first proposed, data storage using microphotography (photographs shrunk to microscopic scale) was commercialised in the early 1920s and its use rose significantly among businesses and the public sector in the following decades.

The technology was widely used for the storage of business catalogues, college catalogues, hospital records, insurance records, library catalogues, medical records, patent records, publisher's catalogues, telephone listings, and much more when space became an issue for business, charities, and public sector organisations.

microfilm scanning

Now there are very few databases held on microphotography in the UK and around the world. When ProScan Document Imaging was established in 2006, this was the first service that we offered to our customers and, although demand has fallen sharply in recent years, it’s a service we’re very pleased to be able to still offer to customers.

If you have data stored on microfilm, microfiche, and aperture cards and you would like that data digitised and accessible via modern computing technology, please call us on 023 8063 0050 or fill in the form below.

Microfilm scanning services

ProScan Document Imaging can digitise 16mm microfilms, 35mm microfilms, and many of the less popular sized microfilms including 3M cartridges.

What is Microfilm?

Microfilm was the most common microphotography image and data storage technology.

Rolls were manufactured mainly on 16 or 35mm microfilm although other sizes were available. The main difference between the two best-selling microfilm formats is the amount of information and documentation that could be stored:

  • 16mm could hold up to 2,400 images of A4/US letter sized documents (for example, HR records, personnel records, accounting records, financial records, or maintenance records) or 10,000 smaller documents
  • 35mm was more suitable for newspaper captures, pictures, books, drawings, maps, manuscripts and engineering drawings with a maximum potential capacity of 600 images.

How do we scan Microfilm?

ProScan Document Imaging has invested in new and restored microfilm reader scanner technology for over a decade to provide our clients with a cost effective and accurate scanning service.

When you place an order, we (or a trusted courier partner) collects your microfilm collection from your premises. Upon arrival, a job manager is assigned to oversee the digitisation and transfer process.

The specialist flatbed scanners we use are set up by our team prior to capture the contents of your microfilm slides at the highest resolution and providing crystal clarity when converted to PDF, TIFF, JPEG, CSV file, metadata XML file, or other formats that you specify.

Following proper calibration of our equipment your job manager then oversees the transfers in real time, constantly checking for quality and clarity of reproduction. Where your manager is not happy with the output on a particular image derived from the microfilm, they will run it through again as many times as needed to achieve the highest quality output.

Each individual microfilm slide will be digitally indexed and, upon request, we can provide our Optical Character Recognition service which captures the text content and embeds it into the output media for easier searching and interrogation at a later stage.

Microfilm scanning cost

Microfilm scanning prices vary according to the number of pages stored on your microfilm reels that require scanning, and on the size and condition of the reels you supply us with.  

We deliver results back to you securely via PDF, CD, DVD, or stored on a microfilm scanner USB (memory stick).

Working with Proscan Document Imaging

ProScan Document Imaging is one of the most experienced and longest-established microfilm scanning companies in the UK and we would welcome the opportunity of quoting you on your current requirements. To speak to one of our team, please call us on 023 8063 0050 or fill in the form below.

Microfiche scanning services

Like Microfilm, Microfiche is a microphotography-based information storage system on which vast amounts of data and documentation can be stored. Unlike Microfilms which are rolls of film, Microfiche is a sheet of flat film similar in size to a sheet of A6 paper. Information can be stored on Microfiches in either landscape or portrait format to match the aspect ratio of the source material.

How does Proscan scan Microfiche?

When you book microfiche scanning services through us, we will collect the microfiches from your premises (or we will send a trusted courier to pick them up from you). Each microfiche slide is then scanned at very high resolution and the whole process is overseen by a specified account and quality control manager.

Each scan is checked in real time and if, following the scanning of an individual slide, your manager feels that it is not at optimum levels of clarity and legibility, it will be run through the scanner again until the scan produced matches the required quality standards.

Microfiche image outputs

Your microfiche slides can be outputted in a number of different formats including TIFF, JPEG, and PDF.

Microfiche scanner to pdf

For slides featuring large amounts of text where you wish to be able to search through the text of the digitised documents for future retrieval, we recommend conversion to PDF Searchable format.

Microfiche scanning cost

We offer microfiche scanning at competitive prices. The amount we charge depends on the number of microfiche slides you send to us for scanning and the condition of the slides themselves. If a slide is in poor condition, we may need to restore quality and legibility to the slide using image manipulation following its scan.

Microfiche scanning near me

ProScan is one of the UK’s leading microfiche scanning companies and we offer our services to companies no matter where they’re located across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Aperture card scanning services

Aperture cards are a hybrid between punch cards and microfilm and they appeared on the market for the first time in the late 1950s.

As well as making information easier to find because of the meta data contained in the punched holes on the card, its other main benefit was the ability to make inexpensive multiple copies of the card for wider distribution.

Used widely by both the private and public sectors, its main use was for the storage and easy retrieval of drawings and other blueprints for manufacturing and engineering departments.

How does Proscan scan aperture cards?

If your premises are based across Hampshire and beyond including Basingstoke, Bournemouth, Eastleigh, Fareham, Havant, Portsmouth, Southampton, and Winchester, we will come to collect your aperture cards from your premises.

We offer a nationwide services so, for clients based outside our core areas, we will send a trusted courier firm to collect the aperture cards from you.

Aperture card outputs

The most popular output formats for aperture card scanning customers are TIFF, JPEG, and PDF. If the aperture cards we scan for you contain significant amounts of text, we would recommend that, for those cards, you select conversion to PDF Searchable format. We use OCR technology to capture and scan text on individual aperture cards and the text we record will be embedded into a PDF for easier searching and interrogation at a later stage.

Aperture cards scanning cost

ProScan Document Imaging has assisted hundreds of clients since our founding in 2006 making us one of the leading aperture cards scanning company in the UK. We always price our services competitively and our charges to you will be based on the number of cards we scan for you and on the condition of those cards

Microfilm scanning, microfiche scanning, and aperture card scanning - FAQ

Why choose to digitise microfilm, microfiche, and aperture cards?

For many companies and organisations, and particularly in the last two decades, management decisions were made to move away from maintaining a microphotography-based information storage system because of:

  • the high costs involved in doing so and
  • the relative difficulty in retrieving data from that system in comparison to using a computer.

By switching to a computer-based system, companies and other organisations are able to free up valuable space, improve employee efficiency, and create an easy-to-use and cost-effective data management and archiving platform.

Whereas before a user would have to be trained to use a microphotography-based information storage system and be at the same physical location to actually use the system, digitisation of the information means that multiple users across different offices can access historic company information quickly and easily.

The data stored on microphotography format is, by its very nature, not GDPR compliant.

What happens to my microfilm, microfiches, or aperture cards after scanning?

We can return the original microfilm reels, microfiche slides, and aperture cards to you, store them at our premises for a small monthly fee, or securely destroy them depending on your stated requirements.

Can I do microfilm scanning myself?

Microfilm scanning equipment is becoming increasingly difficult to source and the number of people who can use the following brands and models of Scanpro microfilm equipment is diminishing:

* Microfilm Scanpro 2000
* Microfilm Scanpro 3000
* Microfilm Scanpro 2200
* Microfilm Scanpro 1100
* Microfilm Scanner from Canon

Scanning microfilm at home or at your office requires a microfilm reader scanner or a microfilm reader scanner printer if you require paper copies of the content of your microfilm. Microfilm scanner prices are rising as they become scarcer.

Likewise, purchasing aperture card scanning equipment, microfiche scanning equipment, a microfiche reader scanner, and microfiche scanning software would be very expensive and time-consuming to source. You will also need to find someone experienced in operating the equipment in order to achieve the optimum quality levels required.

ISO Accreditation Icon Is ProScan Document Imaging accredited?

Proscan Document Imaging has been certified to ISO9001:2015 standard for quality management systems relating to the provision of document scanning services. You can see our certificate to confirm this by clicking here.

Get in touch for a quote

To find out more about our microfilm scanning, microfiche scanning, and aperture card scanning services and to obtain a quote, please call us on 023 8063 0050 or fill in the contact form here.

ProScan Document Imaging is an established, UK-based document scanning company working with businesses, charities, and public sector organisations across the UK.

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