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Switching from Microfiche and Microfilm to Digital

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Switch from Microfiche to digital

Once considered cutting edge storage solutions, microfilm and microfiche are now seen as inefficient and outdated. Day after day there is more digital technology being released, making microfiche and microfilm obsolete. Find out below whether embracing the digital revolution will benefit your business.

Microfiche and Microfilm: What is the Difference?

Types of archival products that can store documents and photographs, microfilm and microfiche are negatives that are fed into a machine, and made positive for viewing.

Microfiche is normally 6 inches by 4 inches per sheet. These sheets are placed under glass, and then light is shone behind or beneath the plastic microfiche, while a lens magnifies the image. This image is then projected onto a screen so text can be read.
Viewed in a similar way, spools move the microfilm back and forth under glass. Microfilms tend to hold a considerable amount of documents in a single sheet compared to microfiche. Technology has developed so much that both microfilm and microfiche images can be viewed on digital computer screens using specialist software.

Fun Fact: Housed at the Library of Congress is one of the largest microfilm collections in the world. In the Microform Reading Room researchers can read over 7 million pieces including posters, photographs, archives, rare publications and ancient manuscripts.


Microfilm is a low-cost way to preserve hundreds of documents on one spool of film. Closed cartridges allows for microfilm readers to self-thread a reader for quick use. This is different to microfiche which provides easy access to groups of documents. This format is easier to update as a new sheet can be added at any time, allowing easier document organisation.


If not stored properly sheets of microfiche can get lost, it also costs more to produce. When it comes to microfilm, it can be difficult to update reels. There is also a slower retrieval rate with microfilm, which depends on the filing system used.

Digitally Scanning Microfilm/Microfiche Files: Advantages

There are many benefits to scanning microfilm and microfiche files. Not only can it cut costs and reduce the need for outdated machinery, it can help save space and boost staff morale. Documents become easer to find which can help increase productivity and efficiency. Additionally, digitalising microfilm or microfiche increases the search-ability of files and images so staff can search for certain words or indexes and find relevant PDF files immediately.

Are you considering switching to digital operations? How could your company benefit? We want to hear from you, let us know on social media!

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  • 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.
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    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.
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