Frequently Asked Questions

Are you wondering what questions you should ask about your scanning project? That’s great, because we’ve put together some of the questions we hear the most. Take a look below and we bet you’ll find the answer you’re looking for. If it’s not here, get in touch with us and we’ll have someone reach out to you!

The best way to contact us for a new project is to click here and fill out a project request form.

Once we get your information, we’ll respond and work with you to see how we can help.

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 that has pictures and descriptions for help determining which type of microform record you have.

The short answer is “it depends.”

The long answer is that there are numerous factors that go into creating a price for your particular scanning project, such as the number of rolls you have, how you want your digital files indexed, and the timeline you give us to complete the project. For details about microfilm scanning costs, take a look at our article that describes the 9 main factors in detail. 

This can seem tough to figure out at first, but if you take a look at the post we wrote then you should have a solid understanding of how to get an estimate!

We have a YouTube channel where you can watch videos about digitization topics, and there’s also our “Webinars On Demand” page for some more information.

Go to our Technical Support page and fill out the information. Our support team will get your info and respond asap to help.

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 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 quantity of material, to name a few. We might have one of our drivers come pick up your material in one of our company vehicles, or a UPS or FedEx package will suffice. Check out our article about common transportation methods to learn more.

We do. Please contact us and we’ll connect you with a rep 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 final product is up to you, and you can learn more about delivery options here.

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.

Here’s some information about timelines for various types of projects:

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.

To learn more about quality assurance and quality control, head over to our blog post here.

Yes, we commonly provide samples for our customers. Before sending in your sample, we ask that you contact us (fill out a request form here) so that we can have a sales rep 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. Our operations are built for large-scale projects and automated processes, but we continue to work with customers who have small projects 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 (click here to fill out a form) and we’ll have a sales rep 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, we’ve done numerous legacy migrations and 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.

Take a look at our article about legacy data migrations to learn more about the process. 

Yes, we’re very familiar with sensitive data (confidential records, HIPAA, ePHI, criminal records/CJIS, 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.

We’ve 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.