DS & ME – FAQ’S – Frequently Asked Questions

Microfilm Standards

Glossary of Microfilm Terms

Related Links to Microfilm – Archives – Genealogy – Preservation and Professional Organisation


Why Microfilm, micrographics and microforms?

I thought that microfilm had past its use by date.

Well yes, microfilm has a long history and was first used as long ago as the siege of Paris in the 1870′s ( no, not a misprint for the 1970′s but the eighteen seventies ).

Refer to the link on our Microfilm Related Links page for the article “The Pigeon Post Into Paris 1870-1871″.

Microfilm is still truly alive and well today and in some jurisdictions is the only legally approved storage media for the long term, Life Expectancy ( LE ) or ( e.g. archival ) retention of information.

What professional groups and organisations use microfilm, micrographics and microforms?

Microfilm, micrographics and microforms, especially in 35 mm and to a lesser extent 16 mm rollfilm format is the recognised standard for long term preservation of information by the archive, genealogy, local studies, local history, family history, preservation, records management and Library – Public, Special Purpose, University & Reference communities plus other preservation entities.

Why is this so when computers appear to be taking over the world?

The major reason is in respect to the long term ( LE ) preservation of data ( digital bits and bytes, zeros and ones ) and information in a human readable form either produced to microfilm, micrographics and microforms from digital data from a computer resource or produced to microfilm, micrographics and microforms from hard copy paper prints, books, ledgers, maps, drawing and or plans.

Why is it that when I wish to look up something e.g. an old newspaper or some old publication that I need to view it from microfilm, micrographics and microforms at a Library – Public, Special Purpose, University & Reference or archive or history centre when I thought I should be able to find the information I wanted on the internet?

Some information is available on the internet e.g. newspaper organisations in certain regions make editions from around 1996 e.g. The West Australian newspaper available online but the newspaper publisher will charge you for the privilege of accessing this information online.

Why haven’t the libraries, local studies, local history, family history, preservation, genealogy resources, and archives and records management organisations digitised all of their holdings of information and made them available on the internet?

Well, some of them have for some of their more important and highly accessed holdings and they continue to add this type of holding with the continuing capture of high value and high access type information.

There are costs incurred in carrying out this exercise and you may care to investigate the information made available at the Cornell University website which has detailed information and advice for anyone proposing to perform this capture of information from their microfilm, micrographics and microforms, hard copy, photograph or large format holdings to a digital format.

You may care to visit the Cornell University website for full details. Another source of information on this subject can be found at the Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard University Library in their article related to the Preliminary Results of Investigation to Optimize Microfilm, micrographics and microforms for Digitization. Another source of data is based on a project at Yale University’s Preservation Department the Yale University Library’s Project Open Book with full details available.

I only need to obtain a limited amount of information in a digital format.

How can I convert this information to a digital format from the microfilm, micrographics and microforms that I can purchase on the subject?

There are a number of lower volume digital microfilm Reader / Printer / Scanners – which are the digital alternative to the now obsolete analogue reader / printer – available from a few manufacturers that will allow you to do this yourself or through a cooperative effort or with a like organisation.

Digital Scanning & Microfilm Equipment – DS & ME as the Australasian Distributors of the e-ImageData range of digital microfilm, micrographic and microform reader / printers and scanners – which are the digital alternative to the now obsolete analogue reader / printer – we may be able to assist you with your project.

A visit to our Equipment page may be of interest if you wish to carry out a digitisation project from microfilm, microfiche, aperture cards or jackets.

You may have queries about microfilm, micrographics and microforms that are not covered on this page.

If so, please visit our Microfilm and Related Articles, Microfilm Related Links or Glossary of Microfilm Terms where you may be able to obtain an answer to your query.

Should you still not be able to locate the information required to meet your needs, please Contact Us and we attempt to assist you in respect to your query.

USAGE TIPS : To search for a term or details on this webpage press the “CTRL” and the “F” keys – at the same time; then type in the term or details you are searching for in the Find: search window box.

If the term or details are located on this webpage you will be taken directly to the first occurrence of your searched term or details.

You can then navigate to additional occurrences of the term or details ( if they exist ) by clicking on the Next Button.

For any form of 16 / 35 mm Roll Microfilm, Microfiche, 35 mm Aperture Card/s for Engineering, Architectural plus other types of Drawing/s, Map/s & Plan/s – either negative or positive, plus Micro Opaque/s – e.g. Microcard/s or Microprint/s, Micrographic & Microform requirements, no matter how small or complex, please contact us via the Contact Us @ DS & ME facility at this website or email Laurie Varendorff of Digital Scanning & Microfilm Equipment – DS & ME at Email: Laurie Varendorff & we will do everything in our power to fulfil your requirements.

For any book, archival document or fragile material project which requires Scanning, Digitising = Digitizing, & or Imaging, no matter how small or large then contact Laurie Varendorff via email @ Laurie Varendorff; or Phone: Australia @ 0417 094 147 – International @ +61 417 094 147 at Digital Scanning & Microfilm Equipment – DS & ME.

Laurie will be able to advise if DS & ME has the specialised equipment available for the Scanning, Digitising, & or Imaging from a minimum size of A 6 = 148 mm in width by 105 mm in height up to a maximum size of over Double A 0 = 1189 mm plus in width by 841 mm plus in height for books or Fragile Document/s, Map/s, Plan/s or Engineering, Architectural plus other types of Drawing/s required to meet a prospective client’s individual requirements.


Across Australia – New Zealand - Papua New Guinea & Oceania – DS & ME with its TWELEVE – 12 Authorised Resellers / Business Partners /  Technical Service Agents now have a total of FIVE HUNDRED & THIRTEEN – 513 installations of the current e-ImageData ScanPro 3000ScanPro i9300, ScanPro 2200 PLUS, and ScanPro 2200 Digital Microfilm Reader – Viewer – Scanner – Printers plus the previous earlier e-ImageData ScanPro 2000 / 1000 / 1100 / 800 / 700 model/s with the ability to Read, View, Scan, and Print from 16 / 35 mm Roll Microfilm, Microfiche, 35 mm Aperture Cards for Engineering, Architectural plus any other type of Drawing/s, Map/s & Plan/s – either negative or positive, plus Micro Opaque/s – e.g. Microcard/s or Microprint/s.

This Australian – New Zealand – Papua New Guinea & Oceania contribution by DS & ME with its  TWELEVE – 12 Authorised Resellers / Business Partners / Technical Service Agents has allowed the international total of installations of the ScanPro Digital Microfilm Reader – Viewer – Scanner – Printer Range of Scanners manufactured by e-ImageData Corp. of the USA to increase to a total in excess of TEN THOUSAND – YES !!! 10,000 Units.

ScanPro All-In-One™ Video featuring new AUTO-Scan® Pro

The ScanPro All-In-One scanners are the first and only, truly universal microfilm scanners available on the market today. The recent introduction of the AUTO-Carrier™ and the substantial speed and accuracy improvements of the new AUTO-Scan® Pro software provide typical scanning speeds of 100 images per minute for both microfiche and roll film.

Go ahead, see how our ScanPro All-In-Ones with the new AUTO-Scan Pro software rev up your research!