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
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
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.