Microfilm Scanning / Digitisation – Engineering- Glasgow, Scotland

Thursday 23 April 2015 / in Case Studies, News / by StevenMcPherson / Comments Off on Microfilm Scanning / Digitisation – Engineering- Glasgow, Scotland



Continue Using Microfilm or Digitise those Microfilm Records?

One of our historical customers were looking to renew their Microfilm viewing and printing equipment. As global leaders in Engineering for power systems, this specific firm had used Microfilm in its varying forms for some 40+years. Over this time, they had built up a vast array of Microfilm formats, some of which were now in a very poor state of repair.

Different types MicrofilmAt McPhersons, we supplied our contact with prices to simply replace their Microfilm Reader Printers, along with maintenance contracts to ensure their records were viewable for the near future. We also raised the topic of digitising their records.

Our client passed the details on to their line manager who then started discussions with our Gordon (Sales) and Steven McPherson (Production) to look further in to the digitising option to ensure the finished product was user friendly and within budget.

The client advised, that although they were based just outside Glasgow, they had several other offices throughout the UK and in fact, globally. During a tidy out of one of their UK facilities they found a number of large storage containers full of microfilm, drawings, slides and documents.

Due to their global standing, any scanned films would have to be made available on their intranet.

A per unit quote was supplied to digitise each form of Microfilm and paperwork, which the client had come across. We were delighted to be awarded the contract to start digitisation of the various Microfilm records.

Microfilm Equipment Replaced with Digital.

Change Is GoodA production schedule was set up to start with the Microfilm Aperture Cards that were of the highest priority, followed by 16mm Roll Film records. Records held on half plate 70mm and documents / drawings were to follow at a later date

Strong Smell of Vinegar?!

Some of the Microfilms were swiftly deteriorating due to the poor storage environment they were being held in- a strong smell of vinegar within any microfilm record, is a sure sign the chemicals within the film are starting to break down, and the shelf life of the microfilm records is swiftly coming to an end.

Our production team started to digitise the Aperture cards followed by the 16mm Roll Film records as a priority to ensure these essential historical records were not lost. The images were scanned  using our market leading Wicks and Wilson and Sunrise scanners to searchable pdf format, with 2 fields of index per card / 1 field per roll film and indexes with supplied in an excel spreadsheet. These records will then be held within a full Electronic Document Management System.

All data was returned on 1 master and 1 copy portable hard drive, as well as the images made available via our secure McPhersons LiveDrive Cloud.

ImproveThe total image count for the project has come in at

  • In excess of 800 x 16mm Roll Films holding over 1.1million microfilm images.
  • Almost 120,000 aperture cards scanned, with almost 4.1million keystrokes to index and ensure the scanned files were supplied in a searchable format.

All images scanned by McPhersons wither they are Documents, Drawings, Books or Microfilm, can be imported in to your existing EDMS or simply drop the pdf files on to a networked folder / drive which allows users to access the data wherever they are. Users with limited access to certain files, can have restricted access to certain documents should this be required.

Do you have Microfilm records and would like to discuss digitisation? Why not contact us to discuss your requirements.