FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BUILDING, SHARING AND PRESERVING COLLECTIONS

FAQ
FAQ
General Questions

How long will it take to complete my project? The time from receipt of your source material to shipment of the deliverables typically runs four to eight weeks. Factors that influence the amount of time it takes to complete a project include the size and complexity of the project, our current production schedule and whether paper facsimiles are to be printed and bound.

How should I package or protect my items during shipping? Please pack your items SECURELY! Individual objects should be wrapped in foam, bubble wrap or some other protective material to prevent damage during shipment. We suggest the shipping boxes you use conform to carrier suggested standards; for example, single wall corrugated boxes with a 200 lb. minimum burst strength rating.

How should I ship my documents or materials? Northern Micrographics has used the services of commercial carriers for more than 15 years with excellent results. For your own protection, we suggest you use a carrier with whom you feel comfortable and one that provides a shipment method that offers traceability.

What standards do you follow in your filming, scanning and binding processes? Northern Micrographics follows the standards and guidelines published by AIIM, ANSI (American National Standards Institute), LBI (Library Binding Institute), RLG (Research Libraries Group) and the ResCarta Foundation, Inc. Northern Micrographics is also a Certified Eastman Park Micrographics (formerly Kodak) Lab.

Will our items be insured during shipment and while at your facility? You should insure your material during shipment to and from our facility. Once in our facility, your documents are covered by a blanket policy that insures against loss or damage. If you have specific insurance requirements, additional coverage can be provided on a fee basis.

Do my source documents need to be disassembled or disbound to be scanned or filmed? No. We have the ability to scan bound material up to 15" by 21.5" and to film bound material to E-size (34" x 44"). While we can digitize and film bound material, it is sometimes desirable to capture the images in a disbound or loose state to avoid losing data in the gutter margins due to tight binding. Disbound scanning and filming is generally less expensive than bound scanning, helping to keep your project costs down.

Do I have to send my entire project in one shipment or can I send multiple smaller shipments to work within my budget? We encourage you to send smaller shipments with more frequency consistent with your timeframe and budget. Smaller shipments typically turn faster in our production process, which means you receive the digital images faster and the source material is out of your possession for a shorter period of time. There are, of course, economies of scale that will influence the minimum shipment size.

Are my documents secure at your site? Our administrative, production and warehouse facilities are monitored for both intrusion and fire. In addition, our production facility includes an ANSI-standard storage vault that is fireproof, waterproof and temperature/humidity controlled conforming to the ISO 18911 international storage standard. All digital and microfilm masters are stored in our vault for safekeeping as well as work-in-process source documents, per customer requirements. By special request, we can store your documents in a locked room for added security.

What happens to my documents after filming or digitizing? Generally, the source items are returned to you shortly after the digital images and paper facsimiles have been shipped. Items that have been disbound are shrink-wrapped for return shipment. The original source documents are always sent separately for security purposes. Upon request, Northern Micrographics can dispose of the original source documents or arrange for third-party document destruction of sensitive material.

Filming questions

How many frames fit on a 35mm or 16mm roll of film? The density of frames on a reel varies depending on the size of the source document and the reduction ratio at which it is filmed. A 100-foot roll of 16mm film will usually hold 2,000-2,500 frames of 8.5" x 11" documents filmed at a standard reduction ratio of 24x. A 100-foot roll of 35mm film will hold approximately 700 frames of the same size document at 16x.

What formats of film do you produce? We produce 16mm, 35mm and 105mm (microfiche) master and duplicate films in silver halide.

What are your standard targets for microfilm? Northern Micrographics follows ANSI and RLG guidelines for archive and preservation microfilming with respect to target applications. Standard targets such as START, PROJECT IDENTIFICATION, TITLE, RESOLUTION and END are included in all filming projects. Custom bibliographic or project-specific targets can be produced and filmed per your requirements.

Can I store my masters at your facility? Yes. All digital and film masters are stored in our ANSI-standard vault that is fireproof and temperature and humidity controlled.

How do you assure longevity of the film masters? Northern Micrographics uses deep tank processors to assure that, after the film has passed through the fixing process, the film is washed sufficiently to remove residual chemicals that might cause long-term problems. In addition, we can provide both Methylene Blue testing to test for residual hypo (fixer) as well as polysulfide treatment of film masters per RLG guidelines. We are an Eastman Park Micrographics (formerly Kodak) certified microfilm lab. All of our film and testing processes are verified by EPM on a monthly basis to assure compliance with recognized standards.

Can you handle the distribution of duplicates to my organization or customers? We can ship duplicate roll film and microfiche directly to your customers or to separate distribution points within your organization. This service provides cost-effective and expedient delivery of time-sensitive information.

Scanning questions

Can you come to our library or facility to scan our materials? We prefer you ship your materials to our production facility for a number of reasons. In our facility, we have complete control of the project, from receipt of material through shipment of the deliverables, via our production control system. We also have the ability to produce digital imagery in a stable environment and on a variety of equipment giving us greater flexibility than on-location production. Digital production in our facility also allows us better efficiency, which will make your project more economical. In special circumstances, we will scan at your site.

Do you offer on-site seminars on digitization? Northern Micrographics’ personnel regularly participate in imaging seminars, conferences, and educational workshops. We would be happy to talk to you about conducting a seminar on digitization at the location of your choice. We can provide a unique perspective on a broad range of imaging issues and services. See our conferences and tradeshow schedule.

Can you disbind my original documents for digitizing? We prefer to disbind your original documents. Disbinding a book correctly for scanning or filming requires great care and attention to detail. We have the experience necessary to assure the disbinding is done correctly to produce the best possible images. Extremely fragile material is disbound by hand.

What are your standard metadata elements? We offer four options for metadata collection with our preference being electronic submission of this data by you. To this end, we can send you an Excel spreadsheet to populate and return. Options range from using the production title only to capturing various bibliographic data, depending on object type—monograph, serial monograph or serial. Additional charges will apply to some of the options. Technical metadata is automatically recorded in the TIFF tags, as specified in the TIFF 6.0 specification.

What type of file formats should I consider when digitizing? We would be happy to discuss the options and best alternatives depending on how the images are to be distributed and used. We can provide your digital data in formats for archive or distribution and use. Your digital images can also be printed to create facsimile circulation copies allowing fragile originals to be stored under secured conditions.

What media options do I have? We can return your digital images on CD-R, DVD or on an external hard drive. For projects over 25GB of data, we recommend using a portable drive.

What if I need a replacement copy of my CD or DVD? If your data is to be transported on CD/DVD, Northern Micrographics retains a TIFF format archive copy of the disc unless we are specifically instructed by you not to do so. Should you damage or lose your CD/DVD, we can quickly replace the archive images as well as any derivative images that we may have produced. If your data volume is large enough to require transport on a hard disk drive, alternative archive arrangements are available at minimal cost. Please contact us for details.

Can you OCR my documents? Northern Micrographics can OCR your scanned documents to provide word-searchable text output as unedited PDF image + text, delimited ASCII text or formatted ASCII text.

What foreign languages are supported in the OCR process? Our OCR process supports more than 180 Latin and Cyrillic-based languages and Asian hieroglyphic languages.

What formats of film and paper can you digitize? We have the capability to digitize documents as small as 3" x 5" index cards up to E-size (34" x 44" engineering drawings. We can produce bi-tone and grayscale digital images from 16mm, 35mm and 105mm (microfiche) and sheet film up to 11" x 17".

How long are my CD-Rs/DVDs likely to last? Most manufacturers rate the archival lifespan of their CD-R products at 50–200 years and DVD-R products at 30–100 years when stored under proper conditions. Northern Micrographics includes CRC hash data with your image files so you can check for data errors automatically.

Printing questions

Can you reproduce large format images in both color and grayscale? We can produce bi-tone, grayscale and color paper prints up to a maximum size of 34" x 44" (E-size).

What type of paper do you use to create digital facsimiles? The paper we use to produce the digital facsimiles complies with ANSI/NISO specification Z39.48: “Permanence of Paper for Publications and Documents in Libraries and Archives.”

Binding questions

Can I have my originals rebound? It may be possible to rebind your source document depending on the condition of the text block leaves and the amount of gutter margin available after disbinding.

What’s the largest case size you can produce? We can produce oversewn bindings with cases up to a maximum height of 15¾". The maximum height for fan-glued bindings is 18".

Does your binding material adhere to preservation standards? Brookhaven Bindery produces reference quality oversewn and double-fan adhesive bindings compliant with Library Binding Institute standards. All of the material used in the binding process including adhesives, cover board, covering materials, endpapers, linings and sewing thread comply with ANSI/NISO/LBI Z39.78-2000 standards.

Revised: May 2015.
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