How do I convert Microfiche to a digital format?

My mother is a long-time amateur genealogist and has a collection of microfiche containing various genealogy records. Her reader is old and pretty large. She's looking to move within the next couple months and would like to get rid of it. However, if she does she'll lose access to her microfiche.

I already plan on slowly converting her collection of old family slides to digital and would like to do the same with her microfiche.

Is this possible? I haven't been able to turn up anything on a Google search regarding this kind of conversion aside from a few services. I know it's possible to convert slides and other microforms.

Any advice?

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  • DrJ
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sally,

    Ive taken over 120,000 digital images off of microfilm and microfiche using a digital camera.

    With a good macro lens, and a small light table, it is possible to digitize any of the existing microfiche/microfilm rolls.

    But it is time consuming. I have it down so I can take one frame on the film every 2 seconds.

    There was a discussion on the Eastman Newsletter about a commercial machine that does the same.... but I discussed my method in the comments section after Dick Eastman's essay.

    See: http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/200...

    I know today there are digital cameras on the market with 0 distance macro lenses.... such as the Canon IS 10... but I haven't tested that on film. I might if my present camera breaks.

    Well equiped FHL (LDS) centers also have computers hooked up to readers that can digitize/visualize film.... so the image appears on a monitor.

    So I would keep looking.....

    Another thought.... what ARE those microfiche/microfilms she has? Perhaps they have already been digitized on a subscription service like Ancestry.com. It should be possible to find out if any or all of them are now online.... and save yourself the trouble of digitizing them by subscribing to such online service.

    Source(s): US Census Expert
  • 5 years ago

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    RE:

    How do I convert Microfiche to a digital format?

    My mother is a long-time amateur genealogist and has a collection of microfiche containing various genealogy records. Her reader is old and pretty large. She's looking to move within the next couple months and would like to get rid of it. However, if she does she'll lose access to her...

    Source(s): convert microfiche digital format: https://biturl.im/LbFxD
  • 1 decade ago

    Man, I remember those days. I bought a reader from an auction some 25 yrs back, when it was "the thing" to do.

    My guess is that microfiche are exactly the same as a slide. A slide can be converted to a photo type image, thus stored electronically. It is a type of negative. Just like a picture, I doubt that it can be used as a text type file that can be edited.

    Check with some of the photo labs like Walgreens. If you have a scanner, you also can scan it.. then do a "reverse" image like negative to print. I believe you will then have an image that can be zoomed, just like a photo.. but it won't be workable with text functions like search or editing the text.

  • 1 decade ago

    Use your mother's reader then use a digital camera to take a picture of the screen. Up load the pictures to a computer and then send a copy of image to a Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program then edit the mistakes as OCRs are not perfect.

    At least get the pictures of reader screen at one time then do the OCR at your leisure. I would also suggest you get memory cards just for these photos and keep them along with uploading them on a computer with back up.

    If you can't get it done by the time she moves then make sure a LDS Family History Center or library has the same type reader that will display her microfiche and take the photos there as time allows.

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