Document Scanning Services from BMI Imaging Help San Francisco Zoo & Gardens Digitize Historical Animal Records

Paper digitization services completed at BMI’s Sunnyvale scanning bureau; Digital records delivered to San Francisco Zoo & Gardens via CD/DVD; Clear, easy-to-read digital replicas help Zoo meet AZA accreditation requirements for proper records management policies

Sunnyvale, CA – BMI Imaging Systems, a leading provider of document management and document scanning solutions, announced that the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens has successfully digitized its historical animal record files with BMI Imaging.

San Francisco Zoo & Gardens is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Accreditation with AZA comes with many responsibilities, including proper records management. Ingrid Russell, Curator of Animal Collections, states, “We’re required to properly store animal records and share them with fellow AZA accredited zoos. That drove a paper digitization initiative. After exploring several options, we selected BMI Imaging.”

Russell continues, “Every five years, we go through a rigorous inspection process by AZA. Part of this process is the inspection of our records management procedures.” The AZA requires animal records to be properly replicated off-site and backed up in the event of a recovery requirement. Proper records management is important to meet regulations for permitting and abiding by state and federal regulations.

There are many reasons to ensure that animal records across AZA zoos are shared and available. One of the primary reasons is to genetically track each species to ensure a viable, healthy gene pool. Secondly, an animal can be compared to other species in different zoos to monitor health (e.g. to determine if a particular animal is overweight). Finally, proper animal records are vital to managing the zoo’s endangered species and understanding the genetic family tree back to the wild.

The first project BMI took on was the scanning of historical animal records that date back to 1929. Many of the records were fragile but contain important pieces of history that have never been digitally duplicated. “Our goal was to protect these fragile originals, digitally replicating them so that we don’t have to handle the actual paper anymore. These early records contained basic Zoo inventory information such as what species came into the zoo, where they came from, and when animals left the Zoo.”

The next project involved scanning hard copy files to provide more efficient access. Russell said, “There are specimen reports, animal permits, transaction paperwork, and other important information that has built up in my filing cabinet. It was time to digitally convert all of this information.”

BMI delivered all digital documents back via CD/DVD so that San Francisco Zoo & Gardens could load the digital documents onto a network drive and share appropriate records with Species360. “Digitizing these records has helped keep us in compliance with AZA record management and sharing directives,” says Russell. “It also ensures that these records are properly backed up and replicated so that no on-site disaster can permanently destroy them.”

Read the full case study here.

About BMI Imaging

BMI Imaging Systems, Inc. has been at the forefront of the document management industry since 1958, first with microfilm and now with scanned images. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, with an additional production and sales facility in Sacramento, BMI serves over 500 commercial companies and government agencies, converting an average of 3 million images per month. BMI consists of 60 production specialists and support staff, many having worked for the company for ten years or more.

BMI has developed a wealth of experience in several vertical markets (e.g. healthcare, government, education) and offers customized document management solutions in a competitive and changing marketplace. Scanning paper documents or physical microfilm is usually the most visible task in achieving a full document solution.

Identifying record types, determining indexing methods and leveraging content in existing legacy systems are all skills needed to modernize an agency’s document management systems and processes. BMI’s systems integration team has decades of experience to achieve this goal. Internally developed software tools, over 400 to date, are regularly employed to solve complex image and data challenges. Jobs that require analysis, data extraction, multiple service offerings and custom development are those that separate BMI from other providers.