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Photo Scanning: The Key to Preserving Our Heritage

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Over time, memories fade and people who have lived through historical events pass away so we have to find other ways to remember the way things used to be. That's where photo scanning can help.

There are currently a number of projects being completed across the UK to digitise photos, slides and negatives of the past in its many forms. These projects range from photos of the landscape to particular landmarks and historical figures but despite the range of different subjects, they all have similar reasons for undertaking the process; preserving history and heritage and making it available to be viewed by the masses. Here are three recent digitisation projects from across the UK.

Photo Digitisation Projects

Ipswich Town Photo Archives- Last month, The Ipswich Society completed an 8 year project to digitise 6,000 photos of the town throughout history. The project exposed the changing face of the town and its iconic buildings and also gave a bigger audience to the digitised images which can now be viewed on Flickr. For more information on these projects, click here.

"Tower Blocks - Our Blocks"- Edinburgh College of Art are currently in the process of completing a project to bring together and digitise old and new photos of UK high rise tower blocks in order to "help contribute to the ongoing shift in public attitudes towards the post-war Modernist housing heritage." 

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland sums up the reason so many of these projects are being undertaken; "Without archives, vast segments of our nation's history would be missing." For more information on this project, click here.

Cheetham Hill Library's Zoo Photos- This project involved the Manchester based library's digitisation of historical photos of Belle Vue Zoological Gardens. The new images have been made available to the "already thriving online community interested in Belle Vue" and includes "never-before-seen coloured slides of the busy and bustling attraction, with thousands queuing for shows and rides." For more information on this project, click here.


Digitising old images brings a great deal of benefits;

  • Digital images can be accessed by a wider audience.
  • The images can be shared quickly and easily.
  • Digital images are safeguarded from damage.
  • Photos can be digitally enhanced to improve their quality.
  • Storing files digitally makes it easier to make slideshows etc. for displays.

Photo, Slide and Negative Scanning Services

Here at Pearl Scan, we understand the need to preserve our history and heritage which is why we offer a bespoke yet affordable scanning service for photos, negatives and slides. We can digitise your images in high quality and retouch any that need it so they can then be stored digitally whether for safe keeping, archiving or displaying. If you would like some more information on the photos, slides and negatives scanning services we offer for scanning archives, take a look at our website or get in touch today for a free, no obligation quote.

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Document Scanning by Pearl Scan

The Scan-do Peopletm

For more information feel free to give us a call: 
Nationwide: 0845 22 55 923         London: 0207 183 1885
Manchester: 0161 832 7991         Birmingham: 0121 285 1900

What is Microfilm?

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You may have heard of it, you might even own some but let's take a look at microfilm, what it stores and what alternatives you can use.

To understand microfilm, we must first understand what the term means. Microfilm means either;

A Microfilm- (noun) A small piece of film containing minuscule images (microphotographs) of documents which cannot be viewed by the naked eye, only by specialist microfilm readers.

To Microfilm-(verb) The process of converting documents to small scale images to store on a microfilm to save storage space.

A Brief History of Microfilm

Microfilm have been around since the early 1900s and the first recorded use of them was in the 1920s by a city banker from New York named George McCarthy. He used his 'checkograph machine' to make 'permanent copies of all bank records.' Since then, they have played a vital role in history from their use in the Franco-Prussian war and World War II to it's adoption by libraries across the UK to store historical archives.

Uses of Microfilm

Microfilm have been used to store documents in a more compact and space saving way for companies that need to store documents with a long file retention period. They can store anything from newspapers and engineering drawings to smaller documents like cheques and betting slips. Rare documents are also stored on microfilm to preserve them from the damage that paper storage is susceptible to.

Alternatives to Microfilm

While microfilm do offer some benefits for document storage, there is an alternative method which offers a great deal more. By scanning, updating and digitising microfilm, organisations have found a useful way to modernise the storage of important documents. Microfilm scanning can save organisations the time, money and space involved in retrieving files from microfilm and make documents more flexible to view, edit and share.

The Future of Microfilm

Due to the expense of microfilm usage, particularly buying microfilm readers, and the rise in popularity of digital methods, microfilm is gradually becoming obsolete. More and more organisations are turning to microfilm scanning to reap the cost and space saving benefits, while safeguarding their archives through digital storage.

How Pearl Scan Can Helpmicrofilm scanning

Here at Pearl Scan, we offer a bespoke yet cost effective microfilm scanning service that is perfect for updating your document storage method. We can provide you with fully digitised and OCR processed documents in a range of formats to suit your preferences. We have even recently invested in a new microfilm scanner to help us provide the best possible service for our clients for microfilm scanning London, microfilm scanning Manchester and microfilm scanning across the UK. If you would like some more information about the microfilm scanning services we offer, feel free to check out some of our other articles or get in touch today for a free, no obligation quote for your scanning project.

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Document Scanning by Pearl Scan

The Scan-do Peopletm

For more information feel free to give us a call: 
Nationwide: 0845 22 55 923         London: 0207 183 1885
Manchester: 0161 832 7991         Birmingham: 0121 285 1900

Libraries Embracing the Digital World Through Microfiche Scanning

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Scanning library archives previously stored on microfiche can open up a wide range of possibilities.

What is stored on library archive microfiche?

Microfiche can hold archives of a wide range of documents and formats. Here are a small selection of the kinds of things you can find on library's microfiche.

  • Newspaper archives
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Manuscripts
  • Historical Maps

Importance of Digitising Historical Documents Stored on Microfichedigitising archives from microfiche

Digitising historical documents stored on microfiche is important for the future of this information. Scanning can help libraries to unlock history and future-proof it for years to come. In the past, once a document became damaged, the information contained would be lost forever but through the conversion process, libraries can ensure that their historical archives won't be lost or destroyed forever. It's important the UK as well as the rest of the world to preserve their history, to understand what the past was like and how greatly it differs from the present.

Benefits of Digitising Microfiche

Digitising microfiche can bring libraries, historians and the general public lots of benefits that physical storage simply cannot provide.

- ACCESS- Digital archives can be made available online for interested parties and can reach audiences previously impossible when the only way to view them was on a microfiche reader.microfiche scanning company

- FUTURE-PROOF- As I've mentioned above, digitising documents provides a more reliable storage method for important archives to be stored in for future use.

- SECURITY- Digitised archives can be encrypted and password protected with the files backed up to ensure their safety and security against loss, theft and damage.

- SPACE SAVING- Digital documents take up only virtual space meaning libraries can free up much needed space by removing the need to store microfiche and cumbersome microfiche readers.

- COST SAVING- Cost savings come in a number of different ways including less storage costs, no need for maintenance and replacement of expensive microfiche readers and eliminating the need to produce colour microfiche.

These benefits, especially the cost saving ones, offer major advantages libraries as most of them are funded by councils who are always looking for ways to reduce costs. This could potentially be the most effective way for them to save money without costing people their jobs.

Digitising Library Archives With Microfiche Scanning

Here at Pearl Scan, we offer a microfiche scanning service perfect for organisations looking to digitise their archives. We have helped to digitise a number of archives and historical documents providing future-proofed and easily accessible digital documents to be found and enjoyed by larger audiences. Our OCR scanning and conversion service can also make digital files easily searchable on databases. For more information about our microfiche scanning services, take a look at our website and blogs or get in touch today for a free, no obligation quote for your microfiche scanning project.

Request a Quote  |   Contact Us   |    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Document Scanning by Pearl Scan

The Scan-do Peopletm

For more information feel free to give us a call: 
Nationwide: 0845 22 55 923         London: 0207 183 1885
Manchester: 0161 832 7991         Birmingham: 0121 285 1900

Accreditations and Certifications

Accreditations and certifications

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Why choose us

  • Experience >

    We have over a decade of experience providing scanning services for some of the most reputable companies in the UK including blue chip companies and organisations as well as small businesses and private individuals. Some of our past clients have included NHS, local government, Manchester Metropolitan University, The University of Manchester, Aviva, BBC, Sky, Metropolitan Police, Environment Agency and many more.
  • Scalability >

    We have the infrastructure to support small-to-large, quick-to-long term scanning projects and with a capacity to scan 10 million images per month. This scalability provides a great deal of flexibility with the services we offer meaning we can tailor all of our services to suit the needs of each client and we will always try our best to accommodate any request.
  • Audited >

    We are backed up by external quality and security audits. Our operations have been audited and approved by many NHS, Local Authorities, Private blue chip companies and we pride ourselves on the high levels of quality and security we provide to each and every one of our clients.
  • Accreditations >

    We hold a number of ISO accreditations including ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), ISO 27001 (Information Management System) and EMS 14001 (Environment Management System) and Data Protection 1998. We are also a member of the Information and Records Management Society as well as being supporters of Investors in People and a member of The Skills Pledge.
  • Innovation >

    Our scanning bureau is fully equipped with state-of-the-art dedicated scanning hardware catering for a wide range of document types and sizes making us a one-stop service for your scanning and digital conversion cycle. We upgrade our scanners to keep in line with the latest scanning technology and ensure we are providing the best possible scanning service at all times.
  • Security >

    We operate from a custom built scanning bureau focussed on security, safety, confidentiality and scalability. The main building is monitored by Red Care security systems and has 24 hours internal and external CCTV. We are more than happy for you to come and visit our premises so we can show you how safe your documents are with us.
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