Microfilm to Digital

How to Plan A Successful In-House Microfilm to Digital Conversion Project?

Some organizations choose to use an organized service bureau but many opt for their own “in-house” conversion and our planner and information can assist with the analysis of either option. Prior to acquiring a microfilm conversion scanner, reach out to a professional. nextScan representatives are eager to assist you in selecting the right equipment for the job and we have all the tools necessary to ensure your nextScan scanner meets your microfilm conversion project goals.  Review some of the resources on this page to help you successfully convert your microfilm assets into easily accessible digital files. 


Microfilm Conversion A-Z: Planning a Successful In-House Microfilm to Digital Conversion Project

Presented by nextScan, October 26, 2020 at ARMA Infocon 2020

Join nextScan, the microfilm conversion experts, as we walk you through the steps of planning an in-house microfilm to digital conversion project from beginning to end. Discover best practices that can be implemented in your scanning operation so you can ensure the successful transition of your microfilm assets to digital formats.

Whatever your objective to digitize microfilm; whether to accelerate response processing times, preserve valuable data, or to enhance ease of accessibility, proper strategic planning is vital to ensuring the timely success and completion of your microfilm to digital conversion project. There are many details that need to be ironed out, but the benefits are quite significant for organizations that transition successfully.

In this Session you will learn:

  • How digitization resolves issues that are common with the retention of physical microfilm archives.
  • How to assess your current situation and your end goals to determine the best approach for the planning, design, and implementation of your microfilm conversion project.
  • How to assess microfilm conversion equipment to find the solution that will best suite your project needs.
  • How to identify and prevent unexpected issues with potential to escalate and cause cost increases.
  • How digitized microfilm records are transferred to third party data management systems and accessed post-conversion.

Planning Your In-house Microfilm to Digital Conversion
with nextScan Microfilm Scanners is Easy...

microfilm to digital


Set Up the Conversion Room

Where will the conversion process will take place within your facility? A few things to keep in mind is that you will need enough space for the scanner, the microfilm, and an area for the people to work. We have found that you should have at least three six-foot tables; one for the microfilm to be scanned, one for the scanner, and one for the post scanned microfilm.


Prepare the Microforms for the Conversion

Before the scanner arrives, review the microfilm to determine what condition they are in. Some microfilm may need a new leader or the perhaps film is damaged and needs to be spliced. It is helpful to have a printed copy of the index to assist in setting up the software as a checklist to help you keep track of the rolls. 


Organize Microfilm to be Converted

Once the scanner is installed, collect the microfilm for conversion into your new room. Organization is key. If your microfilm is in cabinets, they are most likely already organized. If not, you should organize the microfilm to make for easier indexing by your employee. If the microfilm is not organized, fear not, the software allows for a scanned roll can be inserted later.


Scan Your Microform Collection

When your scanner arrives, a nextScan technical training specialist will come to your site to setup and scan the first roll of microfilm, confirming that your scanner is working properly. Once that is complete, they will turn the scanner over to you to begin the conversion.  They will walk you through the process and give you the training you need to be proficient at scanning your archive. 


Export Your Digital Microform Collection

Where are you going to store the digital files? You can save the images to a NextStar archive, an in-house server, a data management system, or to a cloud-based storage platform. This is another step where an organized collection is essential, so you know how much storage to have available for the duration of the project.

Working with a Deadline?

Request a Performance Analysis

For performance calculations based on the micrographic media types and reduction ratios in your collection, contact and request a performance analysis. nextScan’s performance calculator can help you determine the exact throughput to reach your project goals on time, and on budget. We’ll let you know how many microfilm rolls or fiche you need to scan each day to reach your daily goal, the best equipment to utilize, and exactly how many images can be scanned per shift using the proposed microfilm conversion equipment. To request a performance analysis, simply email and one of our representatives will be in touch!

Microfilm Conversion Calculator

How Long Will it Take to Scan Your 16MM Microfilm Collection with nextScan Scanners?

microfilm to digital

Get Our In-Depth Best Practices Guide for Planning an In-house Microfilm to Digital Conversion Project

This 14-page guide will help you carefully plan a successful microfilm conversion project by structuring best practices that can be adopted in your operation to ensure the transition of your microfilm archives to digital formats.

Submit the form below to receive your FREE guide:

Microfilm Conversion Guide

*note: Certain browsers may trigger anti-spam protection if they are set to auto-fill form fields by default. If you experience difficulty submitting this form, try disabling this setting or using a different browser.
Need to Assess image quality?
Request Sample Scans

Send us some sample film, we’ll scan it and send back scanned samples so you can assess the image quality of the digital copies that are produced by our high-production microfilm scanners. Send an email to, request sample scans, and a nextScan representative will coordinate with you to gather all the information needed for your samples. 

Interested in Learning More About nextScan Products?

All nextScan scanners transition high-volume micrographic media collections to digital format, using cutting-edge technology that delivers the highest quality images at the fastest scan speeds available in today’s market.  Produce high-resolution scans at variable speeds up to 2,000 images per minute with one-of-a-kind line scan capture technology. nextScan’s scanning solutions range from affordable compact digitization scanners to high-volume production-level equipment that will convert an entire roll of microfilm in a little over a minute! Rental, lease, or purchase options are available to meet budgetary needs for long-term or short-term projects.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.