Frequently Asked Questions
Are you wondering what questions you should even ask about your scanning project? That’s great, because we’ve put together some of the questions that we most often get from customers. Take a look below and we bet you’ll find the answer you’re looking for. But if not, get in touch with us and one of our teammates will work with you to find a solution!
There are many types of microform materials: microfilm, microfiche, and aperture cards are common examples. BMI can scan nearly any type of microform. Check out our page dedicated to this information for help deciding which type of microform record you have.
We have two scanning facilities. Our headquarters is in Sunnyvale, CA (Silicon Valley), and the other is in Sacramento, CA. We do work with out-of-state clients, and we have many of them. We can work with you and your particular project needs to determine the best way to execute a project, regardless of where your physical microfilm records are located.
Our customers have used many methods of transportation to get their records to us. The method of transportation will depend on a couple of things, including distance from our facility, the type of material for the project, and the volume of material, to name a few. If you’re located in Western Nevada, we would likely have one of our drivers come pick up your material in a company van. Other times, a simple UPS or FedEx package will suffice. In some instances, we even fly to your location, rent a truck, and drive your material back to our facility.
The best way to determine which method is most effective is to contact us and speak with one of our representatives about the particulars of your project. With the experience of our staff, you’ll be sure to get the best recommendation for the safe transportation of your microfilm records.
We do. Please contact us and we’ll connect you with a representative to determine if an on-site project is right for you.
Some standard delivery formats for project include PDF, TIF, or JPG images. If the project involves loading digital images into an existing software application, we’d likely deliver images formatted for import into your system. Another option is one of our hosted applications where your digitized microfilm archives are stored at our secure site and accessible from a PC or smartphone.
The method used to deliver your digital images will vary based on the type of project you have, but the standard delivery methods include USB hard drives or thumb drives, FTP (File Transfer Protocol, basically electronic delivery), and cloud-based hosting (such as our software application Digital ReeL). DVDs are also sometimes utilized, but these are not as size-efficient as USB drives.
If you require a different method of delivery, we’re happy to work with you to determine how to make your plan work.
Each project we work on is unique, so we can’t give you a generic answer about how long a project will take to complete. However, if you contact us and discuss your project with one of our representatives, they’ll be able to give you and estimated timeframe based on your particular records and objectives for the project.
Our QA (Quality Assurance) processes vary depending on the type of project you have and what your requirements are. Since each project is unique and customized to your specifications, we suggest that you contact us to review your project and clarify the level of QA you require.
Yes, we commonly provide samples for our customers. Before sending in your sample, we ask that you contact us (submit a form on the right side of this webpage) so that we can have a representative get in touch with you to learn more about your records and offer suggestions on how best to approach the project
Yes, we do work with customers like you. BMI’s operations are built for large-scale projects and automated processes, but we continue to work with customers who have small project because we know how difficult it can be to find a quality microfilm conversion provider. If you’re interested in pursuing a scanning project, we recommend you submit a project inquiry (right side of this webpage) and we’ll have a representative contact you to learn more about what you’re looking to accomplish.
Yes, we scan books. How we scan your books will depend on what type of books they are and the condition they are in. In some cases, we’ll use our overhead (planetary) scanner to capture books; the unit contains a cradle which allows for the pages to lay flat during the scanning process and allows scanning without unbinding or cutting the books. Also, overhead scanning is used when book pages are very fragile and require special handling.
In other cases, and where customers provide approval, we may either unbind or (extremely carefully) cut the binding on the books to provide single pages which will then be scanned.
Yes, depending on the original material and the condition the books are in. Our book scanner is non-destructive and uses a book cradle to gently hold your book open and in place while it is being digitized.
Yes, this is something we provide for many clients.
Yes, we’ve done numerous legacy file transfers, and our Software and Production teams enjoy these projects. To be able to provide more information, we would need to know some details about your project like the file/image formats, the systems you’re using and are importing into, etc. If you have a project like this in mind, we suggest you contact us so we can collect the pertinent info and provide you with a suggestion for execution.
Yes, we’re very familiar with sensitive data (confidential records, HIPAA, ePHI, criminal records, etc.) and process this type of information on a daily basis. We have internal systems and processes for various levels of security, so depending on the type of records that you send to us, we’ll utilize the appropriate security procedures to ensure proper handling of sensitive data.
BMI has provided integrated document conversion and management solutions for courts, sheriff’s offices, healthcare offices, labor unions, financial institutions, university registrars, and many other organizations with sensitive data.
Yes, we do. We have multiple methods of hosting, so depending on your requirements we’ll work with you to put together a solution that makes the most sense for you. For example, BMI can host your digital records at our secure data center and provide authorized users access via the Digital ReeL web viewer.
Almost certainly. Our Production and Software teams have worked with numerous digital systems over the past decades and have seen most of what is available. Depending on your particular system and what you’re trying to accomplish, we’ll provide recommendations on how best to execute an import/data transfer. In some cases, we may be able to provide custom coding to provide a solution that gets you what you want.
Indexing comes in many flavors, so to get a truly effective recommendation we’d need to have a discussion with you about your project and how you’re planning to search your records.
At a high level, indexing can be at the unit level (such as a banker’s box or microfilm roll), at the document level (folder within a box, bookmark on a microfilm roll), or even at the page level (such as Book and Page in land record documents). This will completely depend on your records and your goals for searching and retrieval once the records are digitally scanned.
Yes, we can. Once we understand the specifics of your project (original hard copy material, desired film output specifications, etc.) we can work with you to determine the best approach. BMI is part of the Kodak Microfilm Processing Program and has a deep tank processing lab for the creation of microfilm.
Another method is to scan the original material and then create microfilm using a digital-to-microfilm archive writer. This is a common way to make microfilm because you get a digital copy of your records (since they’d be scanned) as well as a hard copy microfilm roll.
All projects are unique, so it’s difficult to try to approach a project with a cookie-cutter mentality. However, a good way to get started is to find out what type of microfilm you have, and the volume of material. For example: “I have 450 rolls of 16mm microfilm,” or “I have 275 banker’s boxes of paper records.” Of course, the best way to start is to request a free consultation with one of our microfilm conversion experts.