Digital ReeL Microfilm Conversion Solution Utilized by Davidson County, Tennessee Register of Deeds

Share Article

BMI microfilm conversion solution converts 10,000 microfilm rolls; digital, virtual microfilm rolls stored at Metro Government private cloud with users accessing records from Web viewer

Our images are more legible and we’re going to effectively eliminate the physical film from our day-to-day search and retrieval efforts. The days of telling clients that we cannot provide the information because it is illegible are all but over.

BMI Imaging Systems, a leading provider of microfilm conversion solutions and document management services, announced that Davidson County, Tennessee Register of Deeds is now using the Digital ReeL microfilm conversion solution.

Several years ago, Davidson County embarked on a project to convert their records from microfilm to digital copies. Steve Moore, Chief Deputy of IT, states “We strive to use the latest in available technology to provide courteous and expeditious service to our citizens. The integrity and accessibility of our records is extremely important to us.”

Davidson County selected a vendor offering a standard microfilm conversion service that delivered individual, indexed images as their finished product. Conversion inaccuracies and poor quality digital records left Davidson unsatisfied with the integrity of the digital records delivered by the vendor.

After discovering Digital ReeL as a potential solution, Davidson County became impressed with Digital ReeL’s image enhancing, adjustable grayscale feature. Moore states, “We sent samples of our microfilm to BMI for testing and determined that BMI’s Digital ReeL was the answer we were looking for.”

Standard Microfilm Conversion Service Not Up to the Task

Moore states, "Several years ago, we selected a vendor to scan our microfilm in a standard way that indexed each individual image on the microfilm and delivered a set of indexed, digital images back to us. We did not realize the problems we were going to have until we got the images back.” Scanning and indexing individual images is tedious, prone to error and expensive because each image is dissociated from the microfilm roll or microfiche and individually indexed. Moore continues, “We'd have good images and bad images mixed on the same rolls and many of these digital images came back in worse quality than they were on the microfilm.”

Overall, the expense and the quality of the final product were disappointing to Davidson and the original microfilm archive had to be maintained and available for use. Moore states “the goal of the project was to get rid of the microfilm. We now had people looking information up on their computer, but because some of the digital images were poor in quality, they would have to pull the record from the original microfilm. In some cases, we were unsure if all the records from microfilm were properly transferred to the digital archive. Overall, the record retrieval process was still too time-intensive and tedious.”

When Davidson County witnessed Digital ReeL in production at another Recorder's Office, Davidson decided to explore this solution further.

The Digital ReeL Microfilm Scanning Process From Proof of Concept to Completed Project

Davidson started its research by sending microfilm roll samples to BMI. “We sent BMI some of the worst microfilm rolls we could find; the rolls with bad images, splices and anything that could hinder the effective scanning of these records”, Moore states. Having been impressed with the quality of the digital samples, Davidson decided to move forward with the project.

The facility was important to Davidson County. Moore states, “We are in Nashville and wanted to make sure that we could trust the location where our microfilm was going to get scanned. We visited BMI’s California facility and were impressed with the team’s professionalism, the security and the processes in place to ensure that our microfilm would be in good hands.”

As the microfilm scanning process unfolded, BMI offered a secure Internet line that enabled Davidson to view the digital microfilm process as it occurred. Conversion accuracy of the records is critical if an office truly hopes to remove physical microfilm from the daily search and retrieval process. Moore states, “BMI visually confirmed that our records were getting digitally converted accurately because we could simply log-in and view each digital microfilm roll as the process unfolded. We were able to view an exact digital replica of each roll to be sure that none of our records were getting missed or lost during the microfilm scanning process.”

Image Enhancement with Digital ReeL’s Adjustable Grayscale Feature

Many organizations assume microfilm records will last essentially forever, but that just isn’t the case in reality. Moore states, “We had rolls that were degrading and cracking and we knew that digitally converting these records into a legible format was going to be a challenge.” Digital ReeL’s adjustable grayscale feature enables users to tune the brightness and contrast of each grayscale image until it is legible. “This was critical to us because we not only digitally converted our archive, but we enhanced the quality of the entire archive with this feature. Our images are more legible and we’re going to effectively eliminate the physical film from our day-to-day search and retrieval efforts. The days of telling clients that we cannot provide the information because it is illegible are all but over,” Moore concludes.

About BMI Imaging's Digital ReeL

Digital ReeL is a complete microfilm conversion solution. BMI will convert your microfilm to virtual, digital microfilm rolls at one of our secure facilities (on-site option available). The Digital ReeL microfilm conversion service creates a digital replica of your original microfilm (or microfiche) - the entire microfilm roll is digitally converted. The Digital ReeL microfilm conversion solution includes a software application that emulates microfilm retrieval from a reader printer. Users retrieve virtual microfilm rolls from a PC workstation, avoiding the hassles that come with physical microfilm and legacy reader printers.

About BMI Imaging

Since 1958, BMI Imaging Systems has been a leader in microfilm conversion, microfiche scanning, aperture card conversion and document management solutions. BMI offers industry-leading scanning products from Canon and the ApplicationXtender document management product line from EMC Corporation. In addition, BMI has developed the Digital ReeL microfilm and microfiche scanning solution, which is available nationwide. Today, BMI staff consists of 80 employees, many who have been with BMI for decades. BMI converts an average of 3 million images per month. BMI serves commercial and government agencies throughout the United States and has developed a customer list of more than 2,000 accounts. BMI is headquartered just outside San Francisco in Sunnyvale, California, with an additional production and sales facility in Sacramento, California.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Hillary Whitney
BMI Imaging
(800) 359-3456 210
Email >
Visit website