Micro Fiche Library.

Shaun Halstead shaunhalstead at gmail.com
Tue Oct 4 10:02:13 CDT 2016

On Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 11:49 PM, Rod Smallwood <
rodsmallwood52 at btinternet.com> wrote:

> Hi All
>         I have just had a huge DEC Miro Fiche library  given to me.
> It has the portable (weighs a ton) reader with it.
> On trying it out.  I found the results were awful.
> A good clean of the light path and removal of some disintegrating foam
> improved things no end.
> That left two issues:
>      1.    The reader was for x 42 but the fiches are  x52.

  This is not at all unusual.  I do have a stock of microfilm reader
lenses, if we can figure out who actually built the reader and which lens
it takes.  Is there a name or model on the lens or reader (other than DEC)?

>      2.    The plastic fiche holder consisting of two sheets of stiff and
> clear plastic connected together at one end is scratched to hell.

  Thin plastic is really unusual here because of the tendency to melt under
the heat of the lamp.

> I'd like to work to-wards scanning all of the library into a system.
> Anybody know anything about fiche scanners.

  This is exactly what my company does (and my previous, now defunct,
employer as well).  I have dedicated microfiche and microfilm scanners.
The problem I ran into when trying to scan my DEC microfiche collection was
that the fiche themselves were of very poor quality.  Badly scratched and
scuffed, and poor quality duplicates.

  Jim mentioned that dedicated microfilm scanners are expensive.  He's not
kidding.  Used machines tend to start around $5k USD for a low end, heavily
used scanner.  New machines are generally $30k at the lowest end.  Flatbed
photographic film scanners are much cheaper, but also slower.  However,
with some scripting and tools like the ImageMagick library, you can scan an
entire fiche in one pass, then slice up the image into individual pages

--Shaun Halstead
   MSI Tech Services, LLC

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