Instructions for using the Digital Image Converter

To participate in this process the agencies will need an optical scanner (or for large formats a digital camera may work better), a dedicated computer, storage space on a server to maintain the electronic records, and a log in and password to the state SFTP server where the files will be transmitted.

If you have questions, contact a records analyst.

Setup instructions

Before beginning any conversion project the agency will need to make sure that a specific record series has been scheduled with the Utah State Archives. A series is a group of records that are treated as a unit. Official records, tax assessment rolls, and felony case files are examples of local government record series. A series number is a unique number which identifies a specific record series. A series number is essential for obtaining a work order and establishing a folder on the state SFTP server. 

To discover whether a series already exists for your records, check the retention and classification reports for your agency.

If you find a report which describes the records you want to submit, note the accompanying series number and fill out a “Digital to microfilm work order request.”  (see below)  If a series has not already been scheduled, you will need to schedule it now. 

To obtain a work order, please submit the “Microfilm work order request.”

Information required on the form includes:

  1. Agency and name and contact information for the records officer.
  2. Series information including series number, series title, arrangement of records and any classification the agency has designated.
  3. Questions about access: Do you want a copy of the microfilm? Do you want the Research Center (Archives) to provide access to these records? And, are you interested in Archives assistance in posting these images online?

When you submit this form an Archives records analyst will return a work order to you.  This work order will become one of the identifying targets which you will scan on every future submission of records for this record series. 

Scanning instructions

Documents must be scanned as PDF or TIFF images on an optical scanner with at least 300 pixels per inch at 100 percent according to Mountain West Digital Library standards. All documents on each roll must be scanned using the same orientationeverything, including targets, must be either landscape or portrait as follows:

  • Legal size documents and smaller for 16mm should be oriented portrait
  • Legal size documents and smaller for 35mm should be oriented portrait
  • Larger than legal size documents must be 35mm and should be oriented landscape

File creation instructions

Each submission will comprise a file of scanned images from a single record series to be converted to one roll of microfilm. Scanned images in the file must be organized and numbered in the exact order they will appear on the microfilm. Multiple-page TIFF images are okay. Beginning and end targets must appear at the beginning and end of each roll. Editable targets are available for download: Microfilm Targets

The order for targets is as follows:

  1. Start
  2. Continued from proceeding roll (if applicable)
  3. Scanner Test Target PM 189 (this is to test focus sheet printed on photograph paper) this target should be rescanned with each new transmission.
  4. Scanner number/ roll number/ series number the scanner number will be a unique number for each entity and will be tied to an office more than to specific equipment.  However, the scanner make and model number should be included.  Roll numbers for an entity will begin with 1 and will continue consecutively. This page also needs to have details about the scanning such as PPI, format, image, and "Scanned at 100 percent."
  5. Work order (The Archives will provide this target to you when the series and folder is set up and includes all of the identifying information about the records.)
  6. Title page
  7. Classification page
  8. Agency certificate (Validates with a signature that the documents in the file are the real an true documents that the agency purports them to be.)
  9. Operator certificate (Validates with a signature the name of the person who scanned the images which appear in the file and on the microfilm roll as well of the boundaries of included documents.)

The same targets should be included at the end of the file except they should appear in reverse order and end with continued on next roll, and End of roll – Please rewind in place of Start.  Documents will appear on microfilm in the exact order they are arranged in the file. Quality control is very important to ensure that no documents are missing, illegible, out of order, or disoriented. Saving beginning targets in order as a multipage TIFF image numbered 00000 through 00009 will ensure placement at the beginning of the roll.  Likewise saving end targets as another multipage TIFF image numbered 99991 through 99999 will ensure placement at the end. 

Images counts per roll are: 
16mm portrait = 2,000 images including start and end targets
35mm portrait = 1,100 images including start and end targets
35mm landscape = 650 images including start and end targets (based on plat or map size)

If the file contains more images than the above counts then they may not fit on the roll of microfilm.

File submission instructions

Each time a file is ready for submission you will submit the Digital to Microfilm Transfer. This will notify the Archives micrographics staff that a file has been created and is ready to be submitted.

Information on this form includes:
1. Name and contact information for the person submitting the images (not necessarily the records officer).
2. The record series information including series title and number and most importantly the date or file range that is included in the submission.
3. The scanner number and roll number. A unique scanner number has been or will be assigned to each agency and will represent any scanners that agency uses regardless of the fact that more than one scanner could have been used to scan the documents. Roll numbers should start with 1 on the first submission and continue numerically 2, 3, etc. for each submission for the particular agency thereafter. 
4. Indicate the film size at which you want the images to be developed.
5. Indication about whether or not you want the microfilm to include blipping and or labeling. 
(a) Labeling means that the image numbers or file names of the scanned images will be captured on the microfilm. In the case of official records each recorded instrument can be named with the entry number.  Multi-page documents can be saved as a multi-page TIFF image.  On the microfilm all of the images within a single document will then carry the same identifying number (the entry number).  Microfilm targets can be saved as TIFF images bearing the numbers 00000 through 00009 for the beginning targets and the numbers 99991 through 99999 for end targets.  Labeling like this will ensure proper placement of the targets on the roll.
(b) Blipping means recording marks at the bottom of each frame to identify the first image in multi-page documents. Actually, there are three levels of blips.  A large blip will mark the beginning of a new folder.  A medium blip will mark the beginning of a document, and small blips will mark each succeeding page in the document. 

For official records, labeling will be important for document retrieval, but blipping will be less important.  Blipping may be convenient for case files.    

After notifying the Archives you will transfer the file by saving it in the appropriate folder in the default directory for your agency on the state SFTP server. Folder creation was prompted by the work order request. To access this directory you will need to use software that supports SFTP, such as WinSCP (free).

Within that directory there will be a separate folder for each record series you are sending to be converted to microfilm. Submission is made by simply saving the file in the folder labeled with the appropriate series number. Files should be named as follows: first four letters of county name followed by scanner number and roll number (emer 243-1), which is Emery County scanner number 243, roll 1.

Archives to complete digital processing

When the Archives receives notification of a file being transferred a member of the staff will process the file into a roll of microfilm and will provide quality control checks at the light box level. This means that Archives will ensure that the roll is legible and in focus. The Archives will not provide the frame by frame inspection that was previously provided. Upon completion of the process the Archives will send notification and will provide a microfilm accession number to allow for easy future retrieval. A master copy of each roll will be stored in the Archives' repository. If requested, the Archives will make duplicate copies. Archives will file the transfer sheet, operator’s certificate, and the work order for each roll completed. The Archives will not retain the digital images unless you have requested that the Archives provide access or you have asked Archives assistance in posting the images online.

Page Last Updated May 26, 2010.