Governmental bodies and agencies follow a set of guidelines when it comes to microfilming and digital imaging of public records. The prime purpose of these guidelines is to provide them with the best practices in digital imaging that ensure the authenticity, reliability, integrity and usability of public records. They are designed to address the critical issues faced by public officials when designing, selecting, implementing, operating and maintaining imaging technology.
The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) follows some guidelines, while performing microfilm scanning and conversion, so as to ensure the security and accessibility of permanent records. These are useful for entities that are looking to convert and preserve important documents.
Guidelines Followed by KDLA for Microfilm Conversion
Permanent public records are required to have manual, eye-readable counterparts (paper or microfilm). This is to provide security for the permanent records.
- Files should be kept in standard, Tagged Image File Format (.tif extension).
- They should be compressed using standard fax compression only.
- Even though multi-page TIFF files are acceptable, those that are more than 75 pages should be split into separate files to facilitate microfilm creation.
- Files of a single series should be segregated to enable placement in a single roll of a film.
Digitally converted images should be accompanied by the corresponding general index. These are accepted in TIF format to make the transfer to microfilm.
File Verification: The vendors should verify each file to ensure the quality of images. They should report poor quality images to KDLA and take appropriate actions based on it. By poor quality is meant missing text, obscured text, overlaps, folds and rips. KDLA shall be responsible for correcting such issues.
File transfer can be accomplished via CD or DVD of read only format. Image files can also be accepted via File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
Targets and charts
Microfilm produced from electronic images, can be represented using the following charts
- Resolution Test Chart
- Title Target
- Camera Operator’s Certificate and Certificate of Authenticity
- Begin and Roll No
- End of Roll
Procedures for Imaging
In order to create an accurate and acceptable microfilmed image, the agencies are required to follow advanced and timely procedures for scanning. Agencies shall include audit trails to ensure the legibility and completeness of the documents and to check whether the ends of documents are folded or obscured. Audit trails should be conducted frequently for authentication purposes.
Review of Systems
Before proceeding to scanning and digital imaging, agencies should review the imaging system requirements, and contents with the concerned staff. The staff examines all elements of the scanning process and the scheduled records series maintained in the system. Review is conducted by the distribution of a form that is to be completed by the agency on a regular basis.
Public records in digital format allow government agencies to provide information to partners or the public more quickly and efficiently. Moreover, they make use of OCR technology to create text-searchable files for increased access and use.