The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Microfilm

Reference Number: MTAS-520
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: January 31, 2009
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 MICROFILM [1]

Microfilming can offer as much as a 98 percent reduction in storage space over storing records in their original paper format. [2]  And by having a back- up copy of microfilm stored off site, a government can almost immediately recover from any disaster or occurrence that damages its vital records. Produced correctly, microfilm is considered to be archival quality, meaning it is a suitable format for storing permanent retention documents.

But microfilm has disadvantages. No alternative format is going to be a perfect solution for all your records management problems. Microfilming is not cheap. It is a labor-intensive process that requires expertise of the person doing the work. Additionally, if microfilm is not properly produced, developed and stored, it will not stand the test of time.

[1] In this text, the terms “microfilm” and “microfilming” are used generally to discuss the various micro-photographic processes available.

[2] Using Microfilming, p.1. 

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