Digital obsolescence is becoming a greater problem day by day. Digital resources become no longer readable because either the physical media, the reader required to read the media, the hardware, or the software that runs on it, are no longer available.
It is only a small proportion of our day to day documents that are mission critical but what do we do with those digital files that need keeping forever? – lease documents, property title deeds, employee records, pension files, contracts, international agreements, engineering plans, compliance documents, medical testing records, international standards information, legal defence information, patent records, trademark applications, production route cards, delivery notes, purchase orders, expenses claims, health care records, national insurance information, nuclear power plant records, census information, voting cards, historical manuscripts, national identity documents, car registrations and legal documents? The list is endless.
Lots of organisations have encountered issues with losing digital data via software not being backwards compatible, media becoming obsolete, hard drive failures, cyber theft and employee negligence.
What is needed is an analogue medium that is not at risk of digital obsolescence. It also needs to have an official ISO 10602:1995 and ISO 18901:2010 approved 500 year LE (Life Expectancy) rating. The ability to be easily scanned back into a digital platform as and when the archival information is required for distribution is another key feature.
What is needed is Microfilm.
More and more organisations are going back to the future and using digital microfilm. What many thought of as an obsolete medium is now being reinvented. No longer do you have to worry about chemicals and a manual photographic process. Now digital files can be written directly to a microfilm drive for automatic conversion of digital files into an analogue version on machine readable microfilm.
Microfilm is human readable and can be scanned automatically back into a digital management system when needed.
Genus has always strongly argued for the preservation of key digital images by writing them onto microfilm for 500-year analogue archiving. We already sell the equipment to write your digital images to microfilm – https://www.genusit.com/products/imaging-hardware/archive-writers/ and we are the exclusive distributor for Fujifilm microfilm products in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region – https://www.genusit.com/products/microfilm/microfilm-supplies/diazo-silver-film/
Now Genus is offering the service of taking your digital images and writing them onto 35mm microfilm on your behalf. Genus has created a brochure that sets out how we do this and the key information that we require from you, to allow us to format the microfilm correctly.
The Genus Digital to Microfilm Service is ideal for those smaller and medium sized collections of data or images, where the volume of microfilm required does not justify the capital purchase of equipment.
For larger collections of data or for those where the data is highly confidential, we would still recommend the purchase of Archive Writing Equipment.
This then raises the question of access to these key microfilm collections? Whilst many archival microfilms will remain in a vault for long periods of time without requiring access, other collections might need more frequent access. That is where our bespoke ImageHost product becomes very popular. We have already sold a number of ImageHost systems into key UK government installations.
Each Digital collection and each Microfilm backup is unique – therefore please talk to us about your “Digital Archiving to Microfilm” project. 16mm Microfilm is also an option, as are Microfiche.