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Microfilm has been used as a a reliable technology for document retention and preservation for over 100 years. Source document microfilming is the process of converting paper documents into microfilm rolls, microfiche, film jackets, or aperture cards. Microfilm uses a fraction of the storage space of paper documents.
If Michigan government agencies want to destroy the original paper records after they are microfilmed, Michigan's Records Reproduction Act (MCL 24.401-24.406) requires that the microfilm be created in accordance with Michigan standards. These standards include the Standards for Capturing Microfilm from Paper (effective August 15, 2005) and the Standards for Capturing Microfilm from Digital Images (effective August 15, 2005).
When processed and stored correctly, microfilm is an acceptable alternative to original paper documents for the long-term storage of information. Courts also accept microfilm reproductions as evidence in legal proceedings. A reader-printer easily converts pages from the microfilm to paper or to an e-mail attachment, if needed.
The Records Management Services administers the State of Michigan's master contract for microfilming services. This contract is available to all state and local government agencies. Agencies that use this contract will receive free consulting services from the Records Management Services to ensure that a quality product is created. These consulting services include:
- Analyzing the records to determine if microfilming meets the agency's needs.
- Analyzing the business process to determine when in the record lifecycle the microfilming should take place.
- Assisting the agency with cost-justifying the need for the microfilm application.
- Developing a Statement of Work that is signed by the agency and the vendor to ensure that a quality product is created.
The Records Management Services provides storage for microfilm in environments that ensure the security and accessibility of the microfilm during its entire retention period. Fees may be associated with this service. Storage of computer cartridges and optical disks is also available.
Costs of microfilm products will vary, and will be dependent upon the requirements of each application. For more information regarding microfilm, please view our brochure about record reproduction services or contact the Records Management Services at 517-335-9132.