We’re rejecting these microfilm myths. You should too. It’s time to get informed.

For decades, microfilm was used as an easy way to store and distribute documents within an organization or to multiple suppliers and vendors. It was also used as a controlled source in best of practice records management for document preservation. Today there are many misunderstandings about microfilm and its role in our digital world. Tameran has compiled a list of nine common microfilm myths and presents information to dispel these myths.

Microfilm Myth 1. Microfilm is not being used any more.  

Not true. Microfilm may not be used as a means for distributing documents, but microfilm is still viewed as the most reliable source for storing and preserving critical and historical documents. Technical documents and records that are vital to current and future infrastructure requirements of governments, utilities and manufacturing organizations must have guaranteed access now and in the future. Microfilm is an important disaster preparedness tool to be used by any organization whose livelihood could be halted by a lack of information and documentation.  

Microfilm Myth 2. Microfilm is too expensive for storing documents.   

Fact, the cost for microfilming documents is less than the cost for printing documents to paper. Whether you are beginning a small conversion project or integrating an entire library of documents into your document workflow, there are options available to make it easy and affordable. 

Microfilm Myth 3. Microfilm is old technology. 

Yes, microfilm technology has been in use for many years, but it has also been an evolving technology. Today’s digitally generated microfilm recorded on high-quality, 500-year life media produces outstanding results.

Microfilm Myth 4. It’s difficult to find microfilm providers.

There are many organizations supporting microfilm for storage and preservation. These suppliers provide microfilming services across the United States and around the world. Tameran Graphic Systems is one service provider whose expertise in microfilm products and services spans 45 years. Tameran understands the importance of properly produced and processed 16 mm and 35mm high resolution microfilm.

Microfilm Myth 5. You can’t access microfilm. 

Microforms such as 16mm microfilm, 35mm microfilm, aperture cards and microfiche all can be easily accessed with viewers and digitally converted in seconds with scanners for viewing, e-mailing and printing. Microfilm is also eye-readable with light and simple magnification, and is unlike digital data, which is fragile, microfilm is unalterable.

Microfilm Myth 6. The cloud is just as secure. 

Can you really believe this? Compared to microfilm’s history as a sound storage and archive method, storage in the “cloud” is a baby in the world of preservation. There is already plenty of evidence pointing to the security risks of digital storage.

Microfilm Myth 7. Digital is better and cheaper. 

Digital may be faster for every-day access, but for preservation it poses many potential problems. Microfilm is an economical and efficient method for storing documents. Documents that are vital to the operation and longevity of a product or service. Digital documents are subject to data loss, trouble with data migration, data security issues and high costs incurred with technology changes. Problems that could be insurmountable and cause disturbances in business or governmental function. 

Microfilm Myth 8. Paper is just as easy to store and keep for many years.

Over time, ordinary paper becomes yellow, fades, is brittle and can disintegrate. Archival Microfilm can last for more than 500 years. Microfilm requires a small fraction of the amount of storage space compared to paper documents.  Just like paper, microfilm can be read by human eye without requiring digital equipment or software which by its nature will probably be obsolete in a few years.

Microfilm Myth 9. I only need to store my information and images on one source. 

As the saying goes, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Risk managers would advise taking a good look at where and how vital documents are stored and making sure to have a back-up so interruption to business processes or services are limited. Whether the original source is paper or digital images, microfilm is the tried and true source for critical records management and document preservation. 

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