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Microfilm - Introduction

Electronic records/information created by scanning paper documents, or computer generated will become the predominate record types departments will deal with in the future. However, one of the major drawbacks to the electronic media, is the obsolescence factor of both software and hardware that limits the useful life cycle of electronic records/information to a five-to-seven year time period without migration as software and hardware change.

To offset the obsolesce factors microfilm will continue to be the most viable, low cost media to use for the long term storage of records/information requiring long retention or usage periods, and when the cost of storage or physical space taken up is excessive.

To compensate for the inconvenience created by the closing of Records Management's microfilm facility, the University awarded contracts to two microfilm service bureaus to provide microfilming services to departments. By having predetermined contractors, departments do not need to search for vendors; plus there is the advantage of volume pricing locked in for a year.

The process of converting paper documents to a microfilm or electronic image, is made up of many steps and activities. Each microfilm project is like building a custom designed house. While many of the steps are the same, there are also a number of steps that may make each project unique. To ensure that charges for each project reflect the cost of that project, and not an average of all University work, the contract pricing is based on steps needed to complete the project. In order to estimate how much a microfilm project may cost, see the section on "estimating cost."

There are a number of conditions, requirements, and responsibilities that apply to both the contractors and University departments. In order to fully understand the various requirements and responsibilities, EVERY USER needs to read the contract in its entirety to prevent any misunderstanding or surprises with the contractor you use.

In addition to the complete contract, several parts of the contract are divided into sections based on requirements or responsibilities of the department or contractor.

If there are any parts of the contract that needs clarification, please contact Cyndie Parks, Director of Records Management. E-mail: parksc@umsystem.edu. Telephone: (573) 882-5459.

Reviewed 2011-03-15.