Microfilm Today


Guide to modern micrographic techniques

What is microfilm's place in today's document management systems?

In simple terms, document management is a subset of a hierarchy which starts with Information Technology, passes down through Content Management and continues via a number of inter-related technologies which include Document Management, Microfilm and Hybrid Systems that combine both electronic and microfilm technology. Content management exploits the content of documents within and outside an organisation, making it available to users automatically or on request. It recognises that it is the information contained in the documents, rather than the documents themselves, that represents knowledge and it embraces all information sources.

Electronic Document Management covers the more limited activity of capturing, distributing and storing documents in digital format as used by computer systems including the internet. Microfilm can be incorporated within a document system by adding its index to that system or by scanning and digitising the film images.

Every technology is plagued with words which mean much to the professional but little to the outsider. What matters is how those who lack expert knowledge are likely to search. The purist would insist that the collective term for roll microfilm, microfiche, jackets and aperture cards is "microforms". We believe that anyone interested in the content of this site is more likely to look under "microfilm" and we try to avoid "microforms" or "micrographics" when referring to microfilm systems or hardware.

The term "document" now covers a very wide spectrum which includes e-mails and voice messages as well as paper, microfilm, word-processing output, photographs, drawings, maps and many other methods of holding and conveying information. Electronic document management embraces the control and distribution of any of these formats throughout their lifecycle ending with their archival storage or destruction. Microfilm no longer competes where rapid remote access is required by multiple users, but it offers high levels of security and a life span estimated to exceed 500 years.

All aspects of microfilm technology are covered by international standards to ensure complete compatibility between products and services from different suppliers. A list of current standards is provided in Chapter 10 of this guide.

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1. Introduction

2. Microfilm today

3. Getting started

4. Input and output methods

5. Indexing and retrieval

6. Management and control

7. Storage and preservation

8. Hybrid systems

9. Services available

10. Standards

Webmaster: Gerald Baker     Last update 14/1/2018     G G Baker & Associates 2018