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Microfilming, or microphotography, is the process of reducing images to a very small size, such that they can only be read with optical assistance. This photographic compression technique helps save almost 99% of the space, and therefore is extensively used for archiving a wide variety of paper based information. For major newspaper conglomerates and global businesses, microfilming has become the primary method for creating paperless repositories of print media, important records etc.
Microfilms are necessitated by the fact that a large percentage of books, newspapers, government and official records etc. deteriorate over time, and require a lot of time and effort to archive. By utilizing a combination of modern film processing technology and climate-controlled archive vaults, microfilm images can easily last 500 years - far longer than any paper stock.
Microfilm formats which are most commonly used are -
Even with the advancements made in microfilm technology, the process still has some inherent demerits, such as -
Therefore, over the past few years, scanning microfilms and converting them into digital versions has become a convenient way to manage, view and even print the microfilmed image.
The requirement for microfilm scanning is further dictated by different variables such as -
Although microfilming was first developed in the late 1800s as a technique for document preservation and archiving, it still being used today stands testament to its popularity as a method which works better than most archiving solutions. Microfilms being used today also have a far better image quality (2000 dpi) than most mass-market laser printers (600-1000 dpi).
At the same time, the simplicity and enhanced accessibility granted by microfilm scanning techniques cannot be disregarded, and therefore, a combination of both techniques could be an ideal strategy going forward. By microfilming all important documentary records to perpetually archive them in a durable format, businesses can ascertain to their longevity as well as ensure easy availability. At the same time, scanning the microfilm ensures that information is made accessible to as many people as required, and can also be shared over the internet or through other media. As a result, the original microfilms always remain safe and away from any damage.
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