Microfilm In the Digital Age

By Dennis Kempner posted 05-21-2015 20:21


Microfilm is almost as old as photography itself. Since its beginnings in the early 1800‘s, Microfilm has gone on to become one of the most used system of archiving. When most people hear the word Microfilm, they think of a large machine in a library basement to view old newspaper clippings. But it is so much more, and now with digital technology, it has even more uses, benefits and potential. So how can microfilm be used in our modern day digital world?

There are countless lasting benefits, including:

  •  Long life-expectancy
  • Low cost of usage and production
  • Storage efficiency
  • Low maintenance
  • Disaster-resistance

It is an excellent archival solution. While paper found in books, newspapers, magazines, and documents deteriorates over time, microfilm has a much longer shelf life of up to 500 years. It's also more salvageable than paper is from a flood or disaster situation.

Digital technology has taken Microfilm to new heights. It can now be digitally scanned onto a computer. With digital technology you can both convert microfilm to digital images, or convert digital images to microfilm. Converting microfilm to digital images allows for images to been viewed over the internet or on a disc. Publications, Libraries and Government Offices have all taken to digitizing their microfilm for online databases. Digitizing microfilm for the internet allows for a greater number of people to see the microfilm images from anywhere, not just from a desk in the back of a library. Digitizing Microfilm is perfect for a publications, magazines and newspapers looking to offer online subscriptions. It is also ideal for companies looking to digitize their old archives. Converting microfilm from digital images allows for reproduction of identical images that are neither edited nor changed.

Microfilm is a unique format. While digital technology has rendered many older technological formats obsolete, Microfilm and Digital Technology can be used in tandem. Using it along with digital technology can offer outstanding archival solutions to any business or organization.