How to Convert Microfiche to a Digital Image

Updated March 23, 2017

Microfiche has been used by libraries, churches and various levels of government to record and store old documents. The small film-like cards were placed into reader devices that would magnify the document that had been transferred to the film. With the advent of digital technology it is now possible to convert those old documents into digital files. Scanning microfiche is similar to scanning other film-based items with one exception. Since the documents on the microfiche are so small, you will need to use a flatbed scanner that can scan at a high resolution.

Connect the flatbed scanner to your home computer and install the scanner's software on your computer.

Open the scanner software and in the "properties" or "settings" tab set the scan resolution at 7,200 dots per inch (DPI) or greater. While scanning at this dpi will take a few minutes, the greater resolution will be needed when it comes time to view documents.

Create a folder on your computer hard drive where the scanned images will be saved to.

Prepare the microfiche for scanning by carefully cleaning the film with an anti-static cloth. This cloth will remove any dust that has collected on the microfiche and will help prevent dust from collecting on the microfiche during scanning.

Place the microfiche face down on the scanner platen, close the lid and press the start button either on the scanner or in the software that is open on your computer.

Repeat the process as needed until all the microfiche images you need have been scanned.

Things You'll Need

  • Flatbed scanner capable of scanning at 7,200 dots per inch or greater
  • Anti-static cleaning cloth
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About the Author

Since 2002 Mark Spowart has been working as a freelance writer and photographer in London, Canada. He has publication credits for writing and/or photography in Canada, The United States, Europe and Norway, with such titles as "The Globe & Mail," "The National Post," Canada News Wire, Sun Media and "Business Edge" magazine.