5 responses to “How We Digitize: Microfilm”

  1. Liz McQuaig

    Hi UBC,

    I found it interesting that you save news pages as tiffs rather than jpegs. Is there a reason for this?

    What do you post online? I’d check myself, but BC Historical Newspapers isn’t fully available right now. I’ve looked at it before and it’s a terrific site. Congratulations!


    1. stuart hill

      Hi Liz, thanks for your interest in the Digitization Centre.

      We save the image files from our scans as tifs as they are the generally accepted image format for digital preservation. tifs also tend to hold a lot more information than jpegs. When we upload items to Open Collections they are uploaded as jpegs. Due to their smaller file size, jpegs tend to load faster than tifs and therefore are a more appropriate format for access.

      BC Newspapers has 168 titles from across British Columbia. Not sure why it wasn’t working for your earlier but it can be found here https://open.library.ubc.ca/collections/bcnewspapers

    2. Bretton Wade

      JPEG compression is very bad for images of text, as it is designed primarily for natural scenes. I would hope they are using a ZIP (GIF or PNG) or run-length based compression of grayscale image data (as a general rule, microfilm for archives is not in color). TIFF supports all of these compression schemes.

  2. Susan Lutz

    Thanks for the ‘how-to.’ It was really informative. One question: how much was the FlexScan?

    Thank you, again, for such great information!

    1. stuart hill

      Hi Susan,
      We love sharing how-to information about digitization. Here’s the website for the FlexScan: https://www.nextscan.com/nextscan-products/flexscan-multi-format-scanners/

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