Microfilm Scanning FAQ
If your microfilm is on this page, we can scan it, and at a very high level of quality.
We don’t print it out for you. Instead, Creekside Digital can scan your microfilm to PDF files that can be viewed, printed, and emailed using any modern computer.
We’ll send you digital files created from your microfilm. Each image will represent a frame on the source film. Most commonly, we deliver PDF files, but we can also deliver other types of files depending on the project — black and white (bitonal) TIFFs for import into an existing document management system, JPEGs for images which need to be edited, and uncompressed, lossless grayscale TIFF master files for archival conversions of historic documents. We’ll also return your source microfilm — undamaged, of course.
For small microfilm orders (typically under 10 rolls of microfilm), completed projects will be burned to DVD. Projects which are larger than that will require delivery via USB external hard drive, which we can provide for an additional charge. A few exceptions:
- Projects containing black & white TIFFs or black & white PDFs will be much smaller. We can usually fit many rolls of these types of files on a single DVD.
- Projects containing grayscale TIFFs must always be delivered on USB hard drive due to their large size.
FTP is usually not a delivery option due to the size of the completed files.
My microfilm contains 2-up frames (left and right facing pages microfilmed together as a single frame) -- can you split them into separate left and right pages?
Yes, for an additional charge.
Reduction ratio refers to the amount that the microfilm frames have been reduced in size as compared to the source documents. For example, a 24:1 reduction ratio means that the microfilm contains frames which are literally 1/24th the size of the original paper documents. In general, a higher reduction ratio means that more documents can be fit on a roll of film, but image quality generally decreases as reduction ratio goes up due to the fact that physically smaller frames have less resolution than larger ones.
The reduction ratio used to create a roll of microfilm depends on the width and format of the film and the size of the source documents. Typical reduction ratios include:
- 35mm microfilm (rolls):
- 9-13x: Books, photographs, and manuscripts
- 14-16x: 1-up newspaper frames
- 16-21x: 2-up newspaper frames
- 16-24x: Engineering drawings
- 16mm microfilm (rolls):
- 24-25x: Letter and legal-sized documents microfilmed at standard reduction
- 26-32x: Letter and legal-sized documents microfilmed using a copy board
- 26-36x: Green bar tractor feed computer printouts and other wide format documents
- 32-42x and higher: Duplex microfilm (two rows of frames — front and back of each document)
- Microfiche (sheets):
- 24-25x: Standard reduction for normal step & repeat and jacketed fiche
- 40-48x: COM microfiche
- 50x and higher: Ultrafiche
No — we will determine it prior to scanning. In fact, even if a target on the microfilm specifies a reduction ratio, we always double-check it before scanning, as what the target says can be different from the ratio that was actually used to create the microfilm.
No. Creekside Digital scans existing rolls of microfilm and sheets of microfiche to digital images — we do not create new rolls of microfilm.