From Microfilm to Digitazation

Microfilm proved to be a rather popular format of recording information and other content until the debut of the computer system. This roll of film, which looks and functions in a similar manor to 8mm film strips, has a single image recorded on an individual film cell. Due to the high-resolution nature of microfilm, it became possible for a considerable amount of information to be stored on the strip. More often than not, each film cell contained the information of a single page of paper, newspaper, text from a manuscript or other content in a similar manor. This made it easier to record large amounts of data to a single film strip. However, with modern technology, that no longer is the case and microfilm is no longer needed. It remains difficult to categorize microfilm, as someone using the equipment would need to go through every single film cell in order to find the content they want. With the creation of the computer and digital technology though, bringing up fils only requires a few seconds. For people, facilities and companies that have a large number of microfilm, it might prove worth wild to look into digitizing microfilm in order to save the material located in the film. The film eventually begins to break down, so converting it to a digital format allows libraries and other organizations to save the information stored on the film.

The digitalization process is similar to simply scanning the image into a computer system. A microfilm reader with a digital output is connected to a computer system. The image, which is viewed from the microfilm reader is captured by a scanning element that is positioned under the microfilm, so when it passes by the scanning feature, a CCD, short for charge-coupled device, captures the information that appears on the single cell. A CCD is found inside of digital cameras and is the same item that allows these cameras to process digital image information.

The individual who controls the microfilm scanner can see the single frame on the computer system in real-time, similar to when a microscope is connected to a large monitor. The technician can see when the film cell is presented properly in the viewing area. Once it is, they are able to select the capture feature, and the CCD sends a digital image file to the connected computer. The file can then be saved anywhere onto the computer, just like scanning a document with a digital scanner.

Once the cell is scanned and saved, the individual can then continue on to the next cell and repeat the process. This capture process must be done every single time a cell require capturing. It is time-consuming but it allows for the digitalization of the microfilm.

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