Microfilm Conversion and Digitizing Services

When they hear about our microfilming services, people sometimes ask:

“Microfilm?   Do people still use that?”

At first glance, microfilm is an unlikely survivor of the computer age.  The principles behind microfilming date back to 1850 and it became a popular technique for archiving around World War II.  Yet, in many cases, microfilm is still the most trusted medium for backup storage.  Libraries, newspapers, law firms, universities, governments and hospitals are just a few industries that still rely heavily on microfilm or microfiche records.  Why?

What are the Benefits of Microfilming and Microfiching?

  • Microfilm is durable and it lasts for a really long time.

Books, periodicals and newspapers quickly deteriorate because of poor quality paper and print.  Yet, scientific studies indicate that with careful handling and storage, microfilm could be preserved for about 500-1000 years.  That’s why many companies and organizations opt for a hybrid approach: microfilm archives are kept for security and longevity while digital archives are assembled for easier use and greater access.

  • Microfilm can be read by humans.

Microfilm is the only data archiving system that is independent of any technology.  It simply relies on a light source and a magnifying glass, meaning that microfilm can be read by the human eye whereas information retained in an electronic format is only retrievable when one has the appropriate hardware and software to retrieve it.

  • Microfilm’s long history and simple techniques are more historically stable than electronic or computerized alternatives.

MicrofilmingBecause technology is changing so rapidly, experts question whether the computer equipment being used to archive today’s data will still be relevant and usable in the future.  Digital technology is stored via chips, hardware and software that can get damaged, develop glitches, or corrode.

Changes in microfilming technique happen every 20-40 years, not every six months like modern technology.  (Microfilm stabilized in the 1980s with the introduction of a polyester-based film.)  Original microfilm or microfiche still can be viewed on the latest microfilm reader without any conversion—another reason why microfilm is a tried and proven method for the preservation of documents.  With computers, formats and file trunks change frequently.  In contrast, once a document has been microfilmed, it can not be altered.  A century later, the format of the microfilmed document will be exactly the same as the original.

Microfilm is often less expensive than other document storage solutions.

For many, microfilm remains the most reliable and inexpensive method to keep records.  Records placed on microfilm today can be economically scanned at a later date and converted to digital documents at any time.  Microfilm is economical to duplicate and compact to store.  It only takes seconds to retrieve one of a million records—and you don’t have to leave your chair!  Valuable hours freed from sorting and filing paper records are either recovered or channeled into more productive work, creating the benefit of lower operational costs.  Furthermore, records filed on microfilm are in a fixed sequence, guarding against misfiling, alteration, or loss. This means that information inquiries are more accurate and less time-consuming.

  • Microfilm saves space and provides convenience.

Microfilming, also called microphotography, reduces images to such a small size they cannot be read without magnified optical assistance. These amazingly compressed microfilm records need as little as 2 percent of the space occupied by the same records on paper.  That’s a 98% reduction of space needed for document storage!  In addition, microfilm has dimensional uniformity.  Regardless of the original document size, images are reduced to fit standard microfilm dimensions for convenient handling.

  • Microfilm ensures document integrity and information security.

Microfilm can be used frequently without wear or damage, and since microfilm does not deteriorate with age like paper, it is the preferred medium for archival storage.  It is possible to microfilm several duplicates of a document while keeping the original in archival storage to prevent damage from constant use, loss or destruction.  For additional security, the master film can be stored in a separate protected location or negatives and positives can be stored in different places.  Thus, records are protected from fire, water, smoke damage, or other natural disasters.

  • Microfilm provides legal protection.

Federal legislation clearly states that microfilmed business and medical records are admissible as evidence whether the original documents are in existence or not. Hospitals, insurance companies, banks, government offices, and other organizations depend upon microfilm for legal validity.

What Kinds of Microfilming Services Does Tarheel Imaging Provide?

Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming offers a large range of microfilm and microfiche-related services.  We have the ability to microfilm documents of almost of any size and weight. Whether standard 8 ½ ”x11” documents, legal size documents, books, architectural maps, or other documents, Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming can convert them into images for a microfilm library.

The three types of microfilm most commonly used are: silver halide, diazo, and vesicular. Silver halide is considered by archivists to be the most suitable for preservation purposes (proven to last 500-1,000 years). Diazo and vesicular films are less expensive alternatives for records that are not expected to be kept for centuries, or where a duplicate working copy is needed.  Each type of microfilm has its strengths and weaknesses.  Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming will help you select the film that is best suited to your needs and teach you how to properly store and handle your microfilm and microfiche files to maximize life expectancy.

Conversely, Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming can also scan and convert microfilm or microfiche to digital format.  We provide customers with full computer output microfilming (COM), source document microfilming (SDM), storage, equipment, supplies, maintenance and other archival solutions.  We have the capabilities to provide processing and duplication of microfilm in many different formats and sizes including:

16mm Microfilm Roll: For small and standard-sized documents.

35mm Microfilm Roll: For engineering drawings, drainage plans, maps, architectural plans, newspapers, manuscripts, and many large bound documents.

Aperture Cards: For the storage of large format documents like plans, drawings blueprints, and other engineering or architectural documents. Microfiche holds reduced images on 4″x6″ sheets.

105mm film or Microfiche: For technical manuals, operations handbooks, diagrams, and company minutes

Microfilm or Microfiche Jackets: These 4″x6″ plastic sleeves hold either 16mm and/or 35mm film to allow the grouping of related data in a single logical record.  Microfiche jackets facilitate filing and easy retrieval of related documents.

Computer Output Microfilm (COM): Extracts information from computers and stores it on microfilm, freeing up space on hard drives.

Source Document Microfilming (SDM): Digital machines scan images from microfilm onto a computer. They can then be used for electronic or web-based databases or saved onto a CD or flash drive.

The staff at Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming has extensive knowledge and hands-on experience; we’ve successfully completed all sorts of microfilm and microfiche projects such as:

  • Engineering Drawings and Plans in All Formats
  • Financial Records for Banks, Accounting, Financial Services, Brokerage and Mortgage Companies
  • Government Records for Government Agencies and Public Institutions
  • Insurance Applications and Claims for Insurance Companies
  • Legal Documents, Case Litigation and Transactions for Law Firms and Attorneys
  • Material Safety Data Sheets
  • Medical Records, Charts, and X-Rays for Healthcare Facilities Including Hospitals, General Practice and Specialty Practice Doctor’s Offices
  • Real Estate Records
  • Research Documents and R&D Support for Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Site Drawings and Project Records for Architectural Firms
  • Transportation & Logistics Documents for Shipping Companies, Importers, Exporters, and Logistics Firms

These brief lists of services available and industries served are by no means comprehensive. Whatever your needs are, we have microfilming solutions to serve you!

How Much Does Microfilming Cost?
Microfilming and microfiching remain the most affordable options in document storage and data archiving.  Regardless of the size, complexity, or budget of your project, we can provide a solution tailored to your needs.  To learn more about our microfilming services or to request an estimate, contact us today.

How Does the Microfilming Process Work?

Our first objective when assisting with a microfilming or microfiching project is to consult with you to fully understand your goals for managing your data.  We’ll help you understand your options while recommending the most cost-effective approach to meet your needs.

Next, we perform an inventory of your project files, logging and labeling all materials.  This allows us to quickly retrieve any materials you may need while your files are in our care.  When the inventory is complete, Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming prepares your documents for filming.  This includes a host of services including, but not limited to: staple and paperclip removal, binding removal, document repair, page orientation, and special handling of Post-It Notes or file attachments.  At this time, we also thoroughly review each file to ensure that the file integrity is maintained, that all project requirements are met, and that no variations are introduced into the process so that all files will be properly indexed and easy to retrieve.

When the document preparation and quality review process is complete, we photograph your documents using technology that ensures the best possible image capture.  Our processing laboratory meets all quality requirements including document authenticity, microfilm legibility, and long-term archival properties.

Once the exposed film has been developed, we check every frame to ensure that each file is clear and legible.  Our approach to document preparation and film checking is among the most rigorous in our industry.  We believe in doing the job right, the first time. We have earned a reputation for incredible accuracy, winning appreciation and loyalty from our clients because we save them time and money and hassle.

Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming combines excellent turnaround time with free pickup and disposal of documents after filming, to make the client’s part of the process easier. If requested, we can transfer original documents to our storage facility for archival keeping.  Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming has a strict protocol dedicated to maintaining the security and confidentiality of customer documents in our safekeeping.

When you’re planning to convert hundreds, thousands, or millions of documents, our twenty years of experience and expertise count.  Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming is proud of its ability to provide quick turn-around without compromising quality service.  We take every measure to ensure consistency and quality while minimizing variation by adhering to a strict Best Practices Protocol for document handling and microfilm conversion.

Interested in Our Microfilming or Microfiching Services?

Since 1990, Tarheel Imaging has worked with businesses like yours to transfer vital paper records, documents and files to microfilm and microfiche.  Microfilm/microfiche and digital technology both have their place in the world of data storage and document archiving.  Whereas microfilm is best for long-term preservation and archival storage, digital files provide greater ease of access and sharing of information.

Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming has the capabilities to provide you with one or with both of these services.  But what matters most, is our proven record of outstanding customer service.  We’ll work with you from start to finish until the project is fully complete and all information can be accessed according to your needs and specifications.

If you want more information about any of our microfilming services – or to find out if we provide any services not mentioned (the answer is usually yes!) – just contact us.  By adhering to leading industry standards, we are capable of providing the highest quality services at competitive prices, on time and right the first time!  Find out what our clients are saying about our microfilming services.

Call Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming for outsourcing, data conversion and document scanning services in Wilmington, NC, Charlotte, NC, Raleigh, NC, Greenville, NC, Charleston, SC, North Carolina, NC, South Carolina, SC, Georgia, GA, Tennessee, TN, Virginia, VA, Washington, D.C., Maryland, MD, New York, NY and Pennsylvania, PA.

Tarheel Imaging & Microfilming offers legal document scanning, PDF conversion, on-site scanning, document imaging and document management. We scan paper documents, microfilm, microfiche. For more information regarding our microfilming services, please contact us at: 1-800-741-8505.

Our staff follows strict procedures from inventory control, document preparation and filming to ensure we deliver perfect microfilm.  Before filming your first project, we will establish specific requirements tailored for your needs.