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  1. #1
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen TriciaBooth's Avatar
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    Question Advice needed on best film/fiche scanner

    It's been my dream to digitise to my computer the 35mm films, fiches and microfilms that I have collected over the years. It would make life so much easier. (I have a basic fiche reader but not one with a printer or computer connection at all).

    I looked for a company that would do it and after extensive research settled on a company and a price for doing everything to CDs. But they let me down badly and most of what they did was hopeless and unreadable, and they were not prepared to do anything else for me, saying the originals were too poor and they didn't have the right equipment. (NOW they tell me)

    I phoned round local libraries but they will not allow me to print my films from their machines - I can only print (at a high cost) their OWN films and fiches.

    Looking on the net, it seems like film.fiche scanners cost thousands! Most places the price is not even given - a hint that it's way too expensive for me. Added to that, I have no idea really what I'm looking for or whether these machines would do what I need.

    Can anyone help or advise?

  2. #2
    Astoria
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    Have you considered contacting your local LDS family history centre, my local one has quite dated equipment but if you have a larger one close to you they may have more up to date facilities and perhaps would be willing to help, I have always found the volunteers very helpful and friendly.

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    Scanning 35 mm films has been covered in a number of other threads, eg:
    http://www.british-genealogy.com/for...ad.php?t=30936 (there are others)
    Microfilms and particularly microfiches may be more of a problem as I have found that image sizes tend to be quite small and need considerable enlargement to get something readable; the scanner I have (similar to those discussed in the above thread) only copes with 35 mm film strips with up to 6 images and the other film holders supplied are not really suitable for microfiche.

    Have you tried photographing the image produced by your fiche viewer with a digital camera? It can be very effective although it's probably not practicable if you want to copy all the images on a fiche.

    The other question, of course, is the matter of copyright, would it be in order to copy the complete films/fiches rather than just the odd image?

    Colin

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    Newcomer to Brit-Gen TriciaBooth's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies. I've read other threads on this and in fact put into practise some of t6he advice, but always run up against the same problems - to do the entire film would be impractical and the microfilsm are too small anyway. Even using a domestic paper scanner isn't the answer.

    To take a photo of one page is useful to keep a record of your family baptism or whatever, but almost all the film and everyone in the village is related to my family in one way or another, and I also get asked (via my website) from time to time to do a lookup. All of this would be much easier if I didn't have to get the fiche reader out and load the film every time. Also it takes up a lot of space in my now much smaller house.

    I guess the only answers are as before, to ask a company to digitise it for me, with varied results, or to try and buy a machine that will save images somehow. As I understand it, copyright is not a problem if the images are for personal use only and not reproduced for sale or something like that. It's a bit like making a personal copy of a CD onto an ipod, or printing off an ebook that you've bought.

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    Have you considered buying the CDs from the original source (if that is possible). It may end up cheaper than buying the machine and doing all the work yourself. Or contact your local FHS to see how they get theirs done - at least you'll have someone to ask for advice.

    Christopher

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    Newcomer to Brit-Gen TriciaBooth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by christopher_n_lewis View Post
    Have you considered buying the CDs from the original source (if that is possible). It may end up cheaper than buying the machine and doing all the work yourself. Or contact your local FHS to see how they get theirs done - at least you'll have someone to ask for advice. Christopher
    Hi Chris, thanks for your comment. Unfortunately the registers I need are not on CD yet. I'm sure the time will come when they are ALL available, but not yet sadly. My nearest LDS centre is Leeds, many miles away. The professionals have specialised scanners and expensive machinery purpose-made to digitise their films, but they are not available to ordinary people. It's possible to get a few print-outs or images, but not a whole film, and I have two 35mm films, one 16mm microfilm, and a ton of fiches.

    Looks like I'll be doing things the hard way for a while yet.

    Tricia

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriciaBooth View Post
    My nearest LDS centre is Leeds, many miles away.
    No - there are centres in Sheffield and Nottingham, either of which should be closer, since you're in Derbyshire. The full list can be found from this page - and I've just spotted one in Mansfield as well, which might be even nearer, depending on exactly where you are. It was only a quick look - there may be more still!

    Arthur

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    Default Scanning of Microfiche and Microfilms

    Hi, I am new to this site and am sorry that I made a mistake in my last posting that had my reply removed.

    Scanners purchased from PC stores will NOT scan microfilms or microfiche. You need a very expensive scanner produced to do this job, they are far more expensive than the casual researcher could justify or afford. The quality from these scanners is very good, but only as good as the original material. If you have any specific questions I may be able to answer them for you. I hope this is of help.

    Barry

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