Microfilm Scanning

Specialist Scanning Services in Sussex | Document Options

Convert your microfilm archive to digital format and take advantage of modern document management techniques


  • 16 & 35mm Roll microfilm
  • 3M type Cartridge microfilm
  • Microfiche and microfilm Jackets
  • Aperture Cards


Document Options have been microfilming customers’ documents for nearly 40 years. We continue to offer a scanning service but today, rather than using microfilm cameras, we generally use Kodak Archive Writer technology to produce microfilm from a scanned image.


For many organisations of course microfilm is considered a dated storage method and users are experiencing difficulty with reproduction equipment that is temperamental, difficult to maintain and costly to replace.


Using specialist scanning systems and software we are able to capture all common microfilm formats. They are then converted to produce an electronic image that can be viewed on a PC; over a corporate network; or from our secure cloud servers.


Microfilmed Business Documents:

Irrespective of the format of your A4/A3 paper records – roll, cartridge, cassette, jacket or microfiche – we have systems to scan into industry standard image formats such as Tiff, JPG or PDF. Once scanned, the images may be imported into a document management system. This may be either one that you already use or one that we can supply.


OCR of microfilmed Business Records

Once the images have been scanned they can be processed by specialist software in order to produce a searchable file format. Business documents can be output to Word format but it is more common that a searchable PDF file is produced. The quality of the result depends upon a number of factors. This include the quality of the original document, the quality of the microfilming process and the subsequent storage conditions. There are limitations to what can be achieved and it is best not to get your hopes up! We are always happy to conduct test scans for you to review.


Microfilmed Drawings 

Due to the larger size of Drawings and Plans they will usually have been microfilmed onto the larger 35mm roll film than the 16mm size used for A4 and A3 business records. Early microfilm may be a positive image with black lines on a clear base; later the use of negative film became the most common format.  After processing the film may be left in roll form, loaded into jackets measuring approx. 6 x 4” or mounted into Aperture cards measuring approx. 7 x 3”. Some 35mm microfilm cameras incorporated a built-in processing unit that enabled the user to load the camera with “Camera Cards”. These contained microfilm which were then exposed, processed and indexed to deliver a fully finished aperture card.


Our microfilm scanning systems can capture any of these formats and save the image as a Tiff, jpg or pdf. Images may be indexed with a long windows file name or with additional data such as drawing number, sheet, issue and title. If required, this data can be supplied in a csv file or as a standalone search and retrieval solution on a self-contained CD or DVD complete with a back end database and viewing software.


Vectorisation of Architectural, Construction and Engineering Drawings

After scanning the microfilm the images can be processed by specialist software to produce a vector format that can be manipulated within a CAD package. As with OCR above there are limitations but there are occasions when applying Vectorisation avoids re-drawing time. A recent example was the South Terminal extension of Gatwick where vectorising a few dozen drawings saved hours of redrawing time.


For further details about our microfilm scanning service please contact us now to speak to a document scanning specialist.

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Burridge House Priestley Way Crawley West Sussex RH10 9NT

Tel: + 44 (0) 1293 426677

Fax: + 44 (0) 1293 403453

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