Oregon State College Kerr Library staff member Rodney Waldron with a new portable microfilm reader, December 1958. Modern microfilm technology has been around since the mid 1930s. Microfilm has been a part of the Valley Library's holdings since at least 1939 and has been used as a storage medium by the University Archives since 1966. Waldron joined the OSC library staff in 1954, and served as Library Director from 1965-1984. [OSU Archives P82:74.]
For more information about how to contact the OSU Archives, please visit our Location, Hours, & Staff Information page.
Microfilming is one of the oldest, most stable, and most useful tools available for storing information efficiently and effectively. Microfilming, when applied to the proper records for the proper reasons, can greatly benefit an office creating records. Among the potential benefits that can be achieved by microfilming the appropriate records are: security of information from loss, file order and content integrity, space savings, easy and inexpensive duplication and distribution, and speedy retrieval.
The University Archives will contract to microfilm non-permanent and selected permanent records that meet the above criteria. The current charge for filming is $.11 per image. Several commercial vendors are available in the area, particularly for large microfilming projects. All microfilmed records must conform to the standards outlined in OAR 166-025. Please contact the University Archives for additional information on planning and bidding microfilming projects.
For additional information on microfilming, see State Archives Bulletin 9.1, Introduction to Micrographics.
While microfilm is one of the oldest media for storing images of records and documents, digital imaging is one of the newest. Both microfilming and digital imaging are methods of reformatting records created in another format or media, usually paper. Electronic records are not part of this discussion as they are already in digital format.
As a process, digital imaging consists of converting a document from paper to a digitized electronic image stored either on magnetic media, optical media, or a hybrid magneto-optical media. In current digital imaging applications, the paper document is recorded much as a photograph is made. Individual light or dark portions of a document are recorded as a light or dark pixels or picture element, much as the light areas and dark areas of a scene are recorded as light or dark points on the photographic emulsion of camera film. The light and dark map is then stored on an optical disk as digital bit streams. The appearance of the document is turned into a digital form; the actual information elements within the document are not turned into digital character information. The process of scanning a document and translating its data elements into digital information involves the optical character recognition (OCR) process, a technology not addressed in this work.
Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 166-17 addresses the use of digital imaging systems by state agencies. Among the considerations in the OAR are:
See also State Archives Bulletin 8.1, Introduction to Electronic Document Imaging Systems and State Archives Bulletin 8.2, Digital Imaging Feasibility Study for additional information.