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Scanning / Digitising Microfiche

Scanning / Digitising Microfiche

Posted: 6 Dec 2009 12:41AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi,
I am looking for a method to put all my microfiche I've collected over the years onto my PC. I'd like to somehow scan my fiche with my scanner, or alternatively buy an affordable digital fiche scanner but so far don't seem to have go anywhere. Has anybody suceeded in digitising their fiche ?
Many thanks
Chris

P.S. Please don't lecture me on copyright issues, I'm not interested !!!

Re: Scanning / Digitising Microfiche

Posted: 6 Dec 2009 4:47PM GMT
Classification: Query
Could not find one either, well not under 10,000; so I built one!

Re: Scanning / Digitising Microfiche

Posted: 26 Dec 2009 7:46AM GMT
Classification: Query
I looked into this briefly to see if I could find a scanner to directly scan microfilm, without first needing to make a paper copy then scanning the paper. An entry level, budget scanner was something over $3000. I stopped looking. A good flatbed scanner will scan slides but I doubt it would have the resolution for fiche. I might give it a try on my HP. Could it hurt?

Re: Scanning / Digitising Microfiche

Posted: 26 Dec 2009 11:31PM GMT
Classification: Query
It cant do any harm trying with your HP scanner but I doubt you'll have any success. I also looked at speicalised scanners but didn't find one under $8000, so your $3000 seems relatively cheap. It just seems to me that this niche in Family History has been overlooked. Perhaps there is room to buy an expensive scanner and scan other people's microfiche for a small fee to recuperate some of the cost? I'll keep looking !!
Chris

Re: Scanning / Digitising Microfiche

Posted: 8 Jan 2010 1:30PM GMT
Classification: Query
Now that the Holidays are over I had a chance to run a test with my HP Scanjet 4890. I used an old 48X microfiche and a pane of glass to hold it flat on the scanner. I tried several resolutions (up to "19200 ppi") and both B&W (1 bit) and 8 bit monochrome to scan small areas (about 4 pages) of the fiche. Scanning was very slow, taking up to 10 minutes per image. The resultant files were huge, up to 20 MB. Displaying each of them bogged my PC down for another 10 minutes. However, at best, the resolution was just not adequate. I could read the normal type font but the letters were very fuzzy. All the letters "e", "d", "a", etc were filled in and could only be recognized by their shape. I think that the higher resolutions (>2400 ppi) are probably just wishful thinking on this scanner.

Re: Scanning / Digitising Microfiche

Posted: 19 Dec 2010 7:35AM GMT
Classification: Query
Have you tried any of the copy/printing/shipping store that have popped up everywhere? I wanted to scan a legal-sized document but my scanner is letter-size. I checked around and the UPS store down the street scanned 6 pages to my thumb drive for 5 bucks. Or maybe the IT folks at your local library can help.

Re: Scanning / Digitising Microfiche

Posted: 16 Apr 2011 3:01AM GMT
Classification: Query
Step One.
Look up microfilm service bureau / Digital Imaging, in your local area. These businesses have high end equipment designed for this purpose alone.
Step two
Understand that these companies service banks, Insurance Companies and other businesses, digitizing dozens or hundreds of rolls of film You are not in their league at all.
Step three
Be very nice and polite to the business owner/manager and bring some samples to their business and ASK if they can HELP you in any way. They might be willing to let one of their employees spend time on your project for a reasonable fee.
Step 4 If the price is prohibitive or if they say no. Look up another service bureau and try again.

PS the equipment is thousands of dollars and the time needed to setup for one or two microfiche is not as efficient as setting up once to run hundreds of fiche.

Re: Scanning / Digitising Microfiche

Posted: 17 Apr 2011 11:35AM GMT
Classification: Query
I think the problem with using a home scanner is that the film/fiche need to be backlit. If you hunt around on the web you'll see that people have had some success using a slide scanner. You can buy small standalone slide scanners now for £100 or less. The problem then is finding a way of mounting the fiche into 35mm slide mounts or similar. Some HP flatbed scanners come with a TMA (Transparent materials adapter) - they don't seem to do them with All-in-One printers though. Your best bet might be to try your local library - print out the pages and then scan those in.

Chris.

Re: Scanning / Digitising Microfiche

Posted: 17 Apr 2011 11:55AM GMT
Classification: Query
It's not just backlighting, resolution has a lot to do with it. My HP scanner has a backlight for scanning slides and negatives. When I ran the test with the standard 48x microfiche at the scanner's highest resolution, using the backlight, it just was not good enough. My scanner's now about 4 years old. Maybe newer scanners would work but my test did not.

Re: Scanning / Digitising Microfiche

Posted: 17 Apr 2011 12:57PM GMT
Classification: Query
You're probably right. I think standalone slide scanners tend to be much higher resolution than the flatbed ones. Also, the advertised resolutions are often interpolated rather than native resolution. For example, my HP printer/scanner claims up to 19200 dpi, but when you look at the manual the optical resolution is only 1200 x 2400 dpi. I think flatbed scanners are probably a non-starter, but standalone slide scanners might be in with a chance, if you can find a way to mount the fiche/film.

Chris.
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