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Micrographics: From Digital to Film and Back Again

July 22, 2013

Utah State Archives Micrographic Services

From Digital to Film and Back Again

Part 1 of 3

The micrographics department at the Utah State Archives is a full service microfilm department, meaning micrographics can develop, duplicate, and store both 16mm and 35mm films. Micrographics can also capture digital images to microfilm as well as produce digital images from microfilm and microfiche. The following post is part 1 of a 3 part series on the services available by the micrographics department.

Digital to Film

In May of 2008, fourteen counties formed an agreement with the Archives to assist in obtaining the digital film converter; the counties  purchased rolls of film in advance and the funds from the advanced purchases were used to buy the digital film converter. The fourteen counties received credit and are able to use that credit to have digital images put on microfilm. Twelve additional agencies have also used this service to date.

The digital film converter creates high quality images in digital format to microfilm by running the images through a monitor and onto a camera which then creates the master microfilm (either on 16 mm or 35 mm). From July 2012 to date, micrographics ran over 12,000 rolls of film and 500,000 images through the digital film converter. The whole process is a huge benefit to both the agency and the Archives. The agency has the images in a digital format that both they and their patrons can access, and the Archives acquires a roll of microfilm for long term preservation storage.

Digital Film Converter

Digital Film Converter

Film to Digital

Another piece of equipment, purchased in 2012, is the Mekel Mach VII microfiche scanner. The microfiche scanner can produce images from microfiche cards to multiple digital formats including TIFF, TIFF group 4, TIFF uncompressed, JPEG, JPEG 2000, and PDF compressed. After scanning is completed the digital copy is saved on a CD, DVD, flash drive, or external hard drive, according to the agency’s request. Another piece of equipment, the Mekel Mach V machine performs the same function as the VII but instead digitizes images from microfilm. Since July 2012 micrographics has digitized almost 500 rolls of film and over 600,000 images.

Mekel Mach VII: Microfiche to Digital

Mekel Mach VII: Microfiche to Digital

Mekel Mach V: Microfilm to Digital

Mekel Mach V: Microfilm to Digital

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