Digitize microfilms and microfiche

Scanning & digitizing of microfilms, microfilm jackets, microfiches & Co.

Even with good and optimal storage, images that are on light-sensitive media are susceptible to decomposition and progressive aging processes. The readers required for digitization are complex and expensive in terms of acquisition costs. wjw-digital takes over the scanning and digitization of microfilm, microfilm jackets, microfiches, and many other data carriers for you in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Why you should digitize your microfilms & microfilm jackets

Advantages of digitization: Scanning and digitizing microforms such as microfilm jackets, microfiches, aperture card or other data carriers offers many advantages. For example, once the analog data carriers have been successfully digitized, they can be accessed by several people at the same time, regardless of location.

In addition, thanks to a scan or digitization, the search for certain data is also much more time-saving and easier. Here, of course, a clean database structure is essential. If such digital data has been correctly tagged with a suitable keyword, the search result for the requested data is available within just a few seconds.

Likewise, digitizing the microfilm jackets eliminates the tedious trip to the archive and saves space that can then be used elsewhere.

In addition, digital data has the significant advantage over analog data in that it has a virtually unlimited shelf life and therefore does not need to be renewed. Once your microforms have been digitized, there are many useful advantages for you.

Why microfilm digitization is worthwhile with us:

For many of us, it is important to preserve memories, past works and images for posterity. One option is to digitize a microfilm or save it on external data media. However, before the microfilm can be digitized, the microfilm must be scanned or captured. This is where we come in as a long-standing and experienced service partner.

We offer our customers a comprehensive range of services at unbeatable prices. Our experience will help you to choose the right services. Do you have microfilm aperture card, paper documents, microfilms, microfiches, or paper files? We have the capabilities to preserve them for posterity and future generations and archive them digitally for you.

Unlike other providers, we guarantee you an all-round carefree package of service, competence, many years of experience and concentrated knowledge at a fair price-performance ratio. When it comes to microfilm digitization and microfilm scanning, we are your number one contact.

Many people think that microfilm digitization and microfilm scanning does not need professional support. Everyone can do it himself at home. Theoretically, this is possible, but with microfilm scanning and microfilm digitizing you can also do a lot wrong.

In no time, the data is damaged and lost, if the matter is approached incorrectly. Do not leave your data backup and microfilm scanning and microfilm digitizing to chance or unprofessional providers but contact us. We are always available for you by e-mail and telephone.

Even after the digitization is done, we are happy to give you support and tips as an experienced provider. Should any questions arise later, we will be happy to help you. We produce high-quality duplicates as well as backups for you and always have an open ear for special customer requests.

Scan microfilm:

If you want to scan documents and data professionally as well as process them, you need special machines and software for image processing. We have this kind of technology and offer you the respective service as a matter of course. For example, we scan and digitize your data and documents and back them up professionally so that you can enjoy them for a long time to come.

Microfilm Digitization:

The assumption that professional microfilm scanning and microfilm digitization costs a lot of money cannot be confirmed across the board. Due to optimized systems and state-of-the-art technology, we as a provider can offer you this service at affordable conditions. For example, we scan your documents, files, papers, and registration cards and offer optimized data processing.

What is a microfilm?

Definition: A microfilm is a film rolled up on a reel that contains greatly reduced analog images of information (e.g. written documents, photos or drawings).

Microfilming or microphotography is often used to convert documents that only exist in paper format into a digital form and thus make them long-lasting. In this process, images are reduced in size to such an extent that they can no longer be read without optical assistance. Compression has the enormous advantage that a great deal of storage space can be saved in archives. In addition, the use of microforms significantly increases the shelf life of data and information. This is because, when stored correctly, microfilms can be kept for many decades or even centuries. This means that later generations can access the wealth of information stored on the microforms.

Types of microfilms

Silver Halide Film

Silver halide films are similar to conventional photographic films in that they use a silver emulsion on a polyester substrate. Silver halide is the type of film used in cameras to make masters. Silver halide is the lightest sensitive of all the films used, allowing greater variations in density and contrast of the original material to be recorded. Silver halide is the only film that is considered archival quality. With proper handling and storage, it can be preserved for up to 500 years. “Silver film” offers the highest resolution and is therefore the first choice when longevity and high quality are important.

There are two types of silver halide films:

  • Polarity reversal – produces a frontal image.
  • Direct copy – produces a negative image.

Vesicular film

Vesicular film is so named because the image is formed from tiny air bubbles, or “vesicles” within the membrane body itself. Vesicular membranes are popular not only because of their ability to reverse images, but also because they can be used in sunlight and processed in dry heat. When projected onto a microfilm reading screen made to ANSI/AIIM/RLG standards, it reproduces an image comparable to that of a silver halide film. The vesicle membranes are less expensive to manufacture and therefore less expensive for the user to purchase. The blister film on the roll is blue. Vesicle membranes are a good choice for high use applications, such as popular books in universities or libraries.

The special features of bubble wrap:

  • Reverse image – Creates a positive image.
  • Can be processed during the day.

Diazo film

Diazo film is hardly used today because it is the most susceptible of the microfilm types. It has a shorter shelf life and tends to disintegrate under the influence of light sources. However, this type used to be very popular and was used as a less expensive alternative to silver halide film. However, we do not recommend this type of microfilm today.

Formats of microfilm and microfiche

The best known are microfilms with the format 105 mm x 148 mm (DIN A6) as well as 16 mm and 35 mm microfilms on reels/spools. The film card or microfilm aperture cardcan be described as a special format, which represents a microfilm in the format of a aperture card, in which a punching can be found in the right or left area. A 35 mm microfilm image is inserted into this window punching.

Microfilm & microfiche playback

A microfilm can only be reproduced with a special reader – also called a reader-printer – equipped with reading and back-magnification functions, and optionally with reproduction functions.

Use of microfilms & microfiches

Microfilms are used in particular for archiving. The great advantages of microfilm are the long shelf life of microfilm and the technical independence of the storage medium. For this reason, information that is still to be archived, that is threatened by decay, and valuable information are filmed on microfilm today. Analogously, digitization by scanning is also frequently used. In this context, the scanning service provider then speaks of so-called “hybrid archiving“.

Microfilming activities are on the increase. This is due to the fact that microfilming has been a constant and outstanding reproduction method over the past 7 decades. Printed materials can be recorded using photographic images and thus stored for a long time.

Digital archiving systems for microfilm and microfiche

Until the marketability of digital audit-proof archiving systems, the legally required archiving of business correspondence (e.g., duplicate invoices) was mainly done using microfilm technology.

Scan and digitize microfilms

An obvious disadvantage of microfilm is the outdated readers, with which the user can only print out information in poor quality. Spare parts are no longer available for many readers, and new readers cost up to around 10,000 euros.

Digital archiving as a low-cost alternative

In order to make the data and information readable and printable, the scanning and digitizing of microfilms should be mentioned here as a long-term and low-cost alternative. The costs of scanning a microfilm are almost always in a very good price-performance ratio. Thus, microfilm archiving usually turns out to be a very worthwhile undertaking.

What can a microfilm / microfilm scanner do?

Today’s high performance microfilm scanners have a video card in an attached PC for optimal viewing of large format or highly detailed microfilm images and scan at one second or less per scan. This makes it possible to scan any microfilm efficiently and quickly.

Our microfilm reader is the best way for microfilm archiving

While microfilm is small, handy, and still works cleanly today, needs today have the added expectation of getting more out of what was already there before. And that’s where our microfilm reader comes in: with a microfilm reader, we can expertly examine and digitize your microfilm to get more out of your microfilm. By which we mean you can edit, email, store in the cloud, or upload additional notes to the scanned images. The handiest attainable way to do that is to outsource the microfilm to a microfilm conversion provider like wjw digital.

Sustainable storage formats thanks to microfilm reader

By using a microfilm reader, we ensure that your microfilm is secured for the long term so that in the event of a loss, your data is always backed up by our microfilm archiving services. It is crucial that you work with the right company when archiving your data. Professional digitization of your microfilm with our high-end microfilm reader will pay off for you in the long run. Your files will be converted into a modern and sustainable storage format that you can use for decades to come.

More data overview thanks to microfilm reader

Microfilm is a sensitive storage medium. But by using a high-quality microfilm reader or microfilm scanner, microfilm conversion and microfilm archiving becomes as clean and as safe as possible. When we work on the microfilm reader, we always take the utmost care so that no damage is done to the microfilm, and it is digitized flawlessly. It is possible to index or title the digitized microfilm files with the appropriate key phrases or numbers if you need to. Moreover, you can make the entire textual content of the record searchable. Thus, our valued microfilm reader will save you a lot of time and resources.

The question of which microfilm to scan and digitize?

An individual approach to the digitization of the microfilm jackets with different scanning systems for plan films, roll films or aperture card allows different resolutions from 200 to 600 dpi. When scanning the microfilm jackets, both negative and positive films are processed, and the procedure is carried out in grayscale or B/W mode. In addition, image processing is then performed as part of the microfilm scanning process to improve quality. This includes, for example, image straightening, contrast enhancement, spot removal, and removal of distracting backgrounds.

Functions of digital scanner for microfilm and microfiche

A microfilm reader also allows the user to zoom, focus and rotate the data objects.

In addition, the user can usually perform a high-resolution printout. Microfilm scanners usually handle formats with 16/35 mm roll or cassette films, micro fiches, jackets as well as also microfilm aperture card.

Scanning and digitizing is often used for the following types of documents and documents on microfilm:

  • construction files
  • payroll accounting
  • registration cards
  • Records of vehicle registrations
  • Sketches, drawings, and plans
  • Repair instructions, spare parts lists for cars, trucks, and motorcycles
  • credit agreements
  • life insurance policies
  • church records

Roll Film Scanning

If the data is in the form of roll film, a large number of films can be scanned within a very short time. Here, our high-performance scanners for large microfilm stocks are used to reliably transfer your data into the digital world. In this way, you can have your microfilm archive completely digitized as quickly as possible.

Digitization of microfilm aperture card

Microfilm aperture cards are often used for optical storage of extensive graphic representations (posters, drawings, etc.). In this case, the microfilm images are glued into the viewing window of the card and the accompanying information is additionally located in the punch card. As part of the digitization of your microfilm aperture cards, the entire punch cards including the supplementary information are scanned and converted into digital form. Here, our scanners read the entire codes of the microfilm aperture card and store all information digitally.

The scanning of nitro cellulose negatives

Old image negatives can also be permanently secured through digitization. This includes, for example, the old image materials from the decades of World War I, World War II and the post-war period that are available in the city archives. By scanning nitro-cellulose negatives, these can be saved from loss. Special scanning processes are available for this purpose, which are then stored in compact format for quick display and retrieval.

More about microfilm scanning & digitizing

If you value sustainable archiving in the future, you can’t do without a sensible scanning and digitization package. It’s better to start archiving your data for posterity with us today than tomorrow. Future generations will appreciate it.


The EROMM (European Register of Microform and Digital Masters) represents an international database to provide concrete assistance to libraries/archives in coordinating digitization as well as microfilm creation and to support the preservation of endangered information and data.

In addition, the goal of EROMM is to order duplicates of proven works.

Literature on the topics of microfilm, microfiche, scanning & data digitization

Book title: From microfilm to knowledge machine: Emanuel Goldberg between media technology and politics.

  • Author: Michael Buckland
  • Publisher: Frank Hartmann
  • Translation: Gernot Rieder
  • Number of pages: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Avino
  • ISBN-10: 3869380152
  • ISBN-13: 978-3869380155


A nice book about Emanuel Goldberg who lived from 1881 to 1970 and in the early 1930s already developed a device for searching, finding and documenting any amount of information.

With the help of this “Statistical Machine“, as Goldberg called it, a wide variety of techniques came together, for example:

  • Microfilm for storing documents
  • Microfilm aperture cards for specifying search entries
  • Electronics for code detection

Telephone technology for data entry

The author did pioneer work, as his reader arguably represents the world’s first search engine, namely the first complex system for finding documents based on specific search criteria.

The author Michael Buckland shows his readers a remarkable life story, which not only focuses on Goldberg’s genius, but also represents a historically relevant time for information science and technology.

Book title: Going Digital: Strategies for Access, Preservation, and Conversion of Collections to a Digital Format

  • Publisher: Donald L DeWitt
  • Number of pages: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Haworth PR Inc.
  • In English
  • ISBN-10: 0789005212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789005212


Donald L. DeWitt’s book offers readers a concise and analytical look at the issues and benefits of digital resources in libraries, administrations, and archives. “Going Digital” is aimed at librarians, archivists, administrators, microfilm experts – all of whom will gain insight into the technology, advantages and disadvantages of traditional and digital storage and archiving. In particular, the following points will be addressed:

  • Pros and cons of microfilm preservation and digital conversion
  • Selection of the right hardware and software
  • Improving access to traditional databases
  • Cost comparisons between digital and print databases and resources
  • Successful project implementation


wjw-digital GmbH & Co. KG
Microfilm Scanning/ Digitization
Brühlstr. 16/1
D-73249 Wernau near Stuttgart

Telephone: 07153/910033
Fax: 07153/910035
Email: info@wjw-digital.de