Libraries and other organizations that have significant collections of historical data stored within their facilities often use microfilm and microfiche film for storage. These systems have long been considered ideal for their durability over decades, even centuries. But with digital scanning now growing in terms of value, organizations are reconsidering how they store their historical data. But how cost-effective is it to scan microfiche and microfilm, and what does the process involve? In this new post, we’ll explore the value of using a microfiche scanning service.
Why Outsourcing Scanning is More Cost-Effective
Many companies consider taking on the scanning process in-house. This is likely not the ideal solution for your organization for the following reasons:
Your staff will have to be trained to use the scanning equipment. And one small error during the scanning process can not only set the process back several days but could also damage the film.
Specialized vendors can complete a higher volume of scanning work than you might be able to achieve within your own offices.
The equipment costs alone are a key reason to outsource the project. Microfilm scanning equipment can run into the thousands of dollars.
Factors Influencing Price of Scanning
A number of factors can influence the total cost of the project, and all should be considered when assessing affordability.
Type of Microfilm
Generally, there are two types of microfilm, and each has different specifications and costs for conversion.
35mm microfilm is provided in 100-feet rolls and used when larger frames are required due to large source documents such as newspapers, engineering drawings, or architectural drawings.
16mm microfilm comes in rolls that are 100 feet or 215 feet long and is widely used for office documents or A4 sized financial records.
Number of Rolls
The number of rolls to be converted is another leading consideration when it comes to the cost of scanning microfilm. Most companies charge a per-roll fee for the scanning project. That can also be important to consider when you have a large scanning project to undertake.
However, many firms are also now offering a discount rate for high-volume projects. If it’s important to reduce the price of your microfilm and microfiche scanning services bill, consider the price per roll before agreeing to the scanning process. Instead of taking a piecemeal approach to the digitization process, it’s far more cost-effective to scan a large number of rolls at once. Completing the scanning in stages is unlikely to save you money in the long term.
The Condition of the Microfiche Materials
You should also consider the condition of your microfilm and microfiche materials when you’re scanning documents. Microfilm is a delicate material and must be kept in an environment that’s designed for its protection. If you have been unable to maintain the material to the highest of standards, you might have to repair or maintain the microfilm before you take on any scanning steps. The additional maintenance and repair work will add to the total cost of your project.
The Total Indexing Requirements
When you’re scanning a large number of documents at once, one of the clear benefits of digitization is that you’ll be able to find the ideal piece of information from your records within seconds. But this is only possible through adept indexing during the scanning stage.
Adding effective metadata during the scanning process can help make it easier to search and discover new data from within the company’s catalog. The time spent indexing the content might be added to the total cost of the project and should be reviewed before moving forward.
Storage and Delivery Needs
One further consideration in determining the total cost of a microfilm and microfiche scanning service is the storage and delivery needs for the files. Many companies are choosing to have the digitized film stored in a secure cloud-hosted portal that will allow key stakeholders direct access to the data. The total cost for this type of storage may depend on the level of security required and the style of cloud storage used.
Working with a trusted scanning company can help ensure that your microfiche and microfilm content is digitized with exceptional clarity and quality. To learn more about how to reduce the cost of your upcoming scanning project, contact our team at Imaging Office Systems today.