After our recent article on Intelligent Microfilm Genus has been approached to talk about the scanning of Microfilms specifically for Universities, Schools, Libraries, Genealogists and Researchers.
Microfilm and Microfiche hold millions of amazing academic and archival documents, providing unrivalled sources of historical data. Unfortunately, the access to these Microform documents can either be very limited or technically dependant on certain members of staff. Students, Public, Staff and Researchers need to be shown how to use the specialist Microfilm Scanners and Printers in order to access the information they need. In 2014 the University of Southampton released some excellent videos on how their students can access their collections of Microfiche and Microfilms.
However, 6 years later and in the middle of a pandemic where all Academic and Library facilities, including those of Universities and Schools, are closed there is now a need to either offer online courses and tutorials for students or online access for researchers. The need to free up valuable information resources so that they can be accessed online is high on the needs of many establishments. The Government are actively pursuing digital initiatives.
The Department for Education is working in partnership with an industry coalition to provide technology to support remote education and has produced a guidance document entitled Get help with technology for remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Government Digital Service (GDS) has recently released a blog Introducing the GOV.UK cloud guide whereby GDS is putting all of its cloud policy, guidance and case studies in one place to make it easier for public sector organisations to find the information and use the cloud.
Genus is therefore pleased to announce the release of IMAGEhost. This is a method and product whereby your Microfilm and Microfiche collections can be scanned (either by Genus or yourselves) and then the digital virtual versions of those Microfiche and Microfilms can be presented online. Students, Employees and Researchers can therefore have remote access (either restricted or open) at any time, day or night and anywhere on the planet. Users are then free to scroll through those collections without having to leave home or travel to a library collection.
IMAGEhost is offered as either a host-and-share platform or as a software package that integrates seamlessly into an existing infrastructure. For those organisations without the infrastructure – or the IT budget and staff – to share digital collections, IMAGEhost offers a simple solution. Client images are affordably hosted online for private or public access via a password-protected internet portal that can be customised with an organisation’s name and logo. However, for those organisations that are already equipped with a robust infrastructure and the technology to host their own images, the IMAGEhost software allows clients to easily customise and organise digital collections for online sharing with staff, associates or the general public.
The other benefit of converting your Microfilm images to digital and hosting through IMAGEhost is that the significant cost of indexing each and every image on the Microfilm and Fiche is completely removed. You keep your existing indexing methodology and structure and search for images using your existing methods – except that now you don’t have to find the roll in the cabinet and load it onto a Reader Printer, you just click on the relevant digital roll number and scroll through the film electronically.
This is all part of the Genus approach to create Intelligent Microfilm.