Since our humble beginnings in 1974 as a Microfilm Bureau, Genus has remained a privately-owned family company, formally known as The Microfilm Shop. 45 years later we are the exclusive reseller of Fujifilm to the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region. We manufacture and distribute microfilm consumables and equipment around the world. Due to our involvement in a number of very large microfiche, aperture card and roll microfilm scanning projects, including – 2.5 million aperture cards, 1 million fiche and 30,000 rolls of microfilm scanned in one year alone, our position in the microfilm industry is still going strong.
Over the last 20 years Genus has expanded into other areas offering Digitisation Services, Digitisation equipment, Service Support, Software solutions and Print. Part of our expansion has included the construction of 3 new digitisation studios and the addition of 20 digitisation and scanning staff. Our studio based in the midlands has been specifically designed for the digitisation of heritage and modern material. All digitisation and storage take place in a humidity and temperature-controlled environment with correct protocols followed to ensure the best possible handling of material. The studio has seen some amazing specialist documents pass through, including Births, Deaths and Marriage registers, WW2 Trench Newspapers, Save the Children Archive, Eighteenth-Century Maps, the whole Archive of a National Theatre, Soldiers Postcards, Royal Navy Diaries, WW1 Letters from the Front, Photo Albums and Police Gazettes.
Working with several independent consultants and major archives and libraries across the UK and Ireland helped us devise a robust methodology which focuses on the conservation of material through to the final digital output. Our methods of capture have been approved by our clients, who include The Wellcome Trust, Getty Images, Rolls Royce, Sandwell Register Office, Leicester County Council, Bangor University and more. To this extent we have been running a series of Digitisation Workshops since 2015. Three times a year we open our doors to the museum, libraries, archives and galleries community offering them a whole day of educational talks and demos showing an end to end digitisation process from capture through to online serving of the digitised content.
Our book scanner range embraces both traditional linear array scanners and one-shot sensor-based technology for all forms of bound and loose-leaf media, from A5 to A0+ in size. In addition, our large format scanners include flatbed scanners, sheet-fed scanners and fine art and décor scanners, all of which are capable of scanning maps, engineering drawings, transparencies, blueprints, surveys, paintings, newspapers and more. One of our most rewarding projects was when we won the tender to supply the Sudan Memory project with digitisation hardware. The project is being run by Marylin Deegan, a professor at Kings College London. In July 2018 we were asked to supply digitisation equipment and staff training at The National Record office of Sudan and The University of Khartoum. Installation and training was provided by our Lead Engineer – Simon Brown and General Manager – Chris Elwell who installed Metis Gamma’s, camera copy stations, A3 flatbeds, a wide format Rowe, networks and NAS devices. Chris and Simon spent a week in Sudan, visiting these archives to train the local staff on digitisation methods and how to use the equipment that was installed.
Throughout the UK we have six professionally trained and experienced equipment engineers serving over 1000 pieces of digitisation and microfilm equipment. Our Technical Support Division offers ad hoc call outs, Tailored or standard Maintenance Contracts, swap out and return to workshop, Loan or rental equipment, on site-based service-engineers, repair of older or little used equipment and Per click service contracts.
Our software division represents a broad range of capture management and archiving software solutions such as workflow management from Goobi, DAM system from Capture Ltd and Community Engagement software from Recollect. After gaining our ISO 27001 Information Security Management System Award in 2018 Genus started to get heavily involved in high-security whole project management. We have developed a unique software management system, live-docs, which facilitates the simultaneous search across thousands of Births, Deaths and Marriage Registers in one search, an industry first. We have also developed a unique OCR software tool to extract the data from 100 million GDPR and PPI images held deep within a mixed format of COM microfiche and roll film for a Bank.
Genus specialises in the provision of services, equipment and support for the whole document life-cycle from print, scan, distribution and access to archive.