"Despite the speed and ease digital access has provided us in recent decades, the endless software and hardware changes and upgrades render digital systems unreliable and too expensive for long-term preservation and access of records and photos." Why Microfilm? Technology is not the solution to preservation; it is the problem. (Wyoming State Archives, 2007).

Disadvantages of Microfilm

Challenges of Digitization

Source: Wyoming State Archives. (2007). Why microfilm? Cheyenne, WY: Wyoming State Archives.

A Hybrid Approach

Digitizing microfiche is a hybrid approach to preservation and access, combining the stability of microfilm with instant access. Digital imaging provides improved access, transmission and distribution of information.

In recent years, traditional microfilm readers have been increasingly replaced, or supplemented, by newer machines that integrate digital technology.

In records management, digital storage is generally used for active information, and microfilm for inactive information. However, microfilm is used as a secondary back up source due to its stability. For example, in the State of Arizona certain records are still required to be microfilmed alongside electronic storage.

Source: Kelsey, S. (Ed.) (2008). Microfilm and digital access. Louisiana Libraries. 71(1), 11-13.

Source: Morrison, R. L. (2009). Looking back and looking ahead. Infonomics Guide (2009 supp.), 76-79.

Source: Willis, D. (1992). A Hybrid Systems Approach to Preservation of Printed Materials. Washington, DC: Commission on Preservation and Access.