“Life is much simpler now for our staff. In the past it might have taken us 3 days to find a document, attempt to print it … and then hope to read most of it. We’ve now streamlined that to a few minutes. It’s easy to adjust the quality of the document and print it directly from within the Digital ReeL application.”

– Bobbi Pirkola | Assistant City Clerk


The Duluth, Minnesota City Clerk’s Office handles elections, voter registration, and the issuance of certain licenses and permits, such as liquor licenses, pet licenses, and general business, among others. The City Clerk serves as Secretary to the City Council and handles City Council record keeping of meetings.

Bobbi Pirkola, Assistant City Clerk, states, “We were having issues with our physical microfilm archive. It was difficult to find information requested, it would not print properly, and often the words printed out were terrible and in some cases illegible. We put a microfilm scanning project into the budget and started to research solutions.”

“We talked to colleagues across the County and conducted our own research”, continues Pirkola. “After reviewing approximately four different products to convert microfilm, we selected BMI Imaging’s Digital ReeL because it was the simplest and most effective product for our Office.”


  • Days of staff time consumed with trying to locate information only available on physical microfilm
  • Inability to easily print and read information requested from physical microfilm archive


  • 400 microfilm rolls digitized at BMI’s California conversion facility
  • Document data sets included historic City Council meeting minutes and agendas dating back to the 1890s
  • Digital ReeL hosted solution provides staff online search and retrieval from elegant web-based app


  • Information search staff time reduced from 3 days to a few minutes
  • Staff can enhance previously illegible documents and then print/email from one screen