You can’t beat digital image formats for searchability and access, but a host of other challenges arise when dealing with digital. How long do you expect your digital media to remain viable? How are you addressing the challenges of hardware, software, and operating system obsolescence? How reliable is the funding for hosting, migrating, and curating your digital collections?
Microfilm is the gold standard for long-term preservation, and film is a format that’s easy to convert to digital images. When you preserve with microfilm, you can rest assured that your successors will be able to use that film decades, even centuries from now.
Our mission to create the best microfilm for the preservation community hasn’t changed since the founding of MAPS. Each project includes the use of our high-quality optics, best in class tools and proprietary process. Check out the details:
To prepare for microfilming, newspapers are laid flat and checked for folded corners and torn pages.
Tight margins on bound collections may necessitate loosening or removing the bindings to avoid losing text and image content to the curve and shadow of the gutter. (We always talk to you before making any changes to bindings.)
Issue and volume breaks are flagged for targets to be inserted.
RLG guidelines call for a full page-count review, so missing pages and numbering errors can be noted on the targets. An accurate page count also facilitates reel breaking, planning where to stop for the transition from one reel to the next.
Our preservation facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania provides environmentally optimized, secure storage in a dedicated microfilm vault.
This controlled storage space is maintained at a constant temperature and humidity level. The vault is equipped with a HEPA air filtration system and a pre-active, dry-pipe-sprinkler fire suppression system.
We currently store more than 170,000 reels of film and 38,000 microfiche for over 100 client institutions.
No other facility in the United States is specifically dedicated to storing print master microfilm. This arrangement provides our clients with the convenience of ready access to high-quality microfilm duplication and digitization services so you can quickly fulfill requests for research copies and interlibrary loan.
Our full-service microfilm lab is equipped to meet all your processing and duplication needs.
When we create new microfilm, we follow preservation guidelines, duplicating the original camera film — the archival master — to create a print master reel from which service copies can then be made.
We can also make duplicates of your existing microfilm resources.
Although we typically duplicate images on 35mm film, our lab is set up to process both 16mm and 35mm microfilm, as well as 105mm microfiche.
Whether you have a large microfilm collection to duplicate or just need a single reel copied, our lab stands ready to serve.
Modern polyester base microfilm will last for centuries, but earlier film bases, such as cellulose acetate, begin to deteriorate over much shorter periods.
If your microfilm was produced prior to the 1980s, it is likely to be acetate, which may shrink, warp, and curl and can eventually become unreadable or too brittle for reproduction.
Not sure if you have acetate film? Contact us, and we can assist you in identifying acetate film and monitoring acidity levels in your collection.
Metallic silver in film emulsions is susceptible to oxidation. Even in an archival storage environment, this silver can react with the air around it, causing faded patches or tarnished red spots in your film.
To safeguard your film against environmental hazards, we recommend treating your master reels with SilverLock polysulfide solution.
Developed by the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Image Permanence Institute (IPI), SilverLock is a chemical solution that converts the metallic silver remaining in a developed image into stable silver sulfides. SilverLock treatment makes silver film emulsions resistant to the effects of common atmospheric pollutants without altering the image or other important film characteristics.
Read about our lifetime guarantee.