person working with documents for microfiche conversion


Adaptability. This skill is vital for both businesses and individuals. Access to your data from remote sources is crucial now more than ever. That includes microfiche conversion.

Enter River City Data to the rescue. Do you know where your data is?

If your data lives as a physical entity in a physical location, you could find yourself behind the times very soon.  

You could even find yourself out of business. Do not let this happen to you. Let River City Data help your company out today if you still need microfiche conversion.

River City Data will transfer any form of media you have into digital format. Whether physical paper records or analog media, such as microfiche, or obsolete digital, River City Data will transform your data into more mainstream formats using state of the art conversion technology services.

We use AMI View but will work with your existing ECM software to provide the highest quality digital data you need, right at your fingertips. River City Data services include converting both microfilm and microfiche to digital. We specialize in conversion projects. 

Both forms of media require bulky, specialized equipment typically available in a library, federal building, or other remote sources. Why is that an issue?

Since both entities have been closed since COVID began (some facilities may have opened after this article was written), the data is not being used to its fullest potential.

River City Data will take care of transferring your old data into digital images, giving it the capability to be accessed anytime, anywhere, crisis or not.

Microfiche reader in closeup

What are Microfilm and Microfiche?

You likely remember using them in school or work. They were tiny little squares that housed countless hours of research reading material. Sometimes information was stored on reels that you watched like a movie. 

Though split into two forms now, both microfilm and microfiche were once called under the unified name, microform. 

An English scientist invented microform in the late 1830s. Early microforms were used in the 1870s during the Franco-Prussian War to transport messages via carrier pigeons. However, they weren’t widely accepted as a useful form of data storage until the 1920s when George McCarthy made them more mainstream. 

In the late 1930s, microforms were then progressively split into two types of formats, microfilm and microfiche. Microfiches were usually single-square boxes, while microfilms were on reels. 

Since the Eastman-Kodak company was involved in their creation, people believed microfilm reels were more efficient. But that wasn’t the case. Microfiche was still widely preferred due to its compact size and ease of use.

Each microfiche can house up to 98 tiles, providing readers and researchers alike countless hours of knowledge at their fingertips. And up until recently, companies and individuals equally preferred these versions of data storage also. Why? 

The smaller size and analog nature of microfiche helped save companies unnecessary costs. Without the need to print every document or retain every receipt, companies could save storage space. The best part? They were helping the environment back before it was a known thing.

By using River City Data’s conversion services, your old microfilms and microfiche can transfer to digital format. You can free up wasted space and wasted employee hours searching for past data using our microfilm scanning and microfiche scanning services

This means you can focus more of your resources on building your business instead of trying to simply remain afloat. And, you’ll help to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s a win-win! 

employee holding binders of microfiche film and documents for filing and organizing and indexing

Digital Media is Everything

Even though microfilm and microfiche are still used and useful today, they are very outdated forms of information storage. The digital age has brought about an entirely new way of life.

What took countless hours of searching is now accessible in mere seconds via a smartphone.

To think, people actually waited in line to get access to information!

Not only is digitizing your records advantageous for ease of access, but once done, the data will never disappear. The infinite cloud storage space will never get damaged by flood, fire, or other acts of God, and will never fade.

You don’t need a big bulky piece of equipment to read it, either. A simple click of any internet-connected device, and you can have full access to your data. River City Data will convert your documents into two types of formats: 


  • Tiff (Tagged File Format) and PDF (Portable Document Format). Tiff is the method certified by the National Archives and Records Administration, but isn’t widely used by the public.


  • PDF is the preferred format since it is most user-friendly. Thankfully the PDF has been gaining more acceptance by the records industry in recent years. 

rows of chairs at a table with microfiche machines

Need Microfiche Conversion? 

How can River City Data help your company succeed and thrive? Some businesses might think they are saving money by not converting old records. Others have tried scanning their old files using employee resources and scanning equipment. 

But in reality, they are wasting both time and money by not using River City Data. Don’t let this be your company.

Our precise microfilm conversion machines allow our operators to adjust for image quality, specs, and skew. This ensures your data is as good or perhaps even better than the original. In addition, you don’t incur any more wasted employee resource hours doing mundane work. 

River City Data’s Advantage 

River City Data has been in the data conversion business for over 40 years. Our stellar reviews from clients prove we do great work and have adapted well in an ever-changing industry. We strive for excellence and continue to adapt to meet our customer’s needs. 

Based in New London, Minnesota, but accessible to anyone, River City Data is here to help your business succeed. By transferring your old document images into digital, you can ensure your data will be secure for life. Contact us for a free estimate today!


Many people and businesses across the nation are getting serious in their efforts to go green. Companies, especially, must work to become more ecologically responsible by encouraging their employees and customers to go paperless. 

Scanning your documents can be the bridge to going paperless and, therefore, reducing your carbon footprint.

The True Cost of Paper

Before we discuss the value of going paperless, it may be helpful to examine the downside of too much paper. Even in the 21st Century, paper remains a ubiquitous feature of the modern office place. In fact, office workers use around 10,000 sheets of paper in a year.

On average, most offices use 12.1 trillion sheets of paper annually.

What are people doing with all this paper? 

Consider this scenario- a worker copies and prints a document 19 times, only to throw 40 percent of the reproductions away within 24 hours. A diligent employee may discard up to half of all documents when they spot printing errors or other blunders.

This scenario is only imaginary, but it is not an uncommon practice in modern offices. Many offices have a waste problem. 

Think of your own experience in offices; you will likely have an easy time believing this synopsis contains some truth. Waste doesn’t just occur because of the paper current employees use every day, however.

Records from before the advent of the Internet can be a big reason for too much paper in a workspace. Keeping lots of documents takes up too much storage space, can create a fire hazard, and risks accidents. This issue is compounded by the fact that documents are easy to misplace or misfile.

These aren’t the only concerns created by a lot of hard copy documents, records, and forms, either.

The Environmental Effects

The effects of paper on the environment are real. Paper production accounts for an estimated 2 percent of all greenhouse gases. Moreover, paper accounts for 25 percent of solid waste in landfills. 

Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change

One of the top greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is the gas people are talking about when they talk about “reducing your carbon footprint.” Greenhouse gases absorb and trap the sun’s heat, thereby changing the planet’s climate and disrupting ecosystems.

CO2 makes up three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions and can stay in earth’s atmosphere for thousands of years

Trees can counter CO2 emissions, but unfortunately, trees make paper. To produce 12,500 sheets of paper, producers need one tree. Put another way; one tree makes just enough paper for a typical office employee in a year.

shredded paper waste with green leaf branch in burlap bag box on a white background , eco friendly paperless concept

Combat Climate Change: Go Paperless

Individuals and workplaces can make simple changes to offset the impact of paper on the environment. A change of habits here and there can help anyone who wants to go green.

Begin by making fewer copies. If you are tempted to print multiple copies of something before a meeting, consider whether they are essential. Consider emailing read-ahead digital copies to colleagues and projecting the information on a wall or board during the meeting.

Scan Your Documents

One way to get read-ahead material to colleagues via email is to scan relevant documents. You not only make an ecologically responsible decision, but you save time and money. Even with a high-speed printer, making multiple copies of something can be a lengthy process.

Additionally, you can scan and send meeting notes and summaries after the fact. Colleagues and coworkers will likely appreciate less paper cluttering up their desks, as well.

Go Green by Scanning Your Records

If your workspace, office, or home is full of a lot of physical files and documents, free it up. Make the organization process a breeze by scanning those old documents and securely archiving the digital copies.

Better Organization for Your Home or Office

When you archive your documents digitally, you simplify and facilitate retrieval. You can make scanned documents searchable via keyword, which means you will reduce lost forms and documents. You can also backup documents that you digitize and store either using a cloud or a document hosting service.

Save Money and Time

Not only will you and your office save money on paper, but you will also save on printers and toners. 

Save the time you spent filing and searching for items, as well as creating and storing hard copy backups. 

You will also save you and your colleagues the time and effort of shredding and disposing of mountains of paper. Scanning documents to go paperless is a terrific way to go green while saving green.

Document Scanning Services: Save Employee Hours and Paper

If you really want to save time in your quest to go paperless, consider engaging a document scanning service. Professional document scanning takes an essential organizational activity off of your organization’s plate. 

Don’t lose productivity while performing the crucial task of streamlining your work space’s document management.

Place your document scanning in the hands of experienced professionals that you can trust. You can feel good about the health of the environment and the health of your organization. 

Let River City Data Help You Go Green By Helping You Go Paperless

River City Data brings forty years of document conversion experience in Greater Minnesota. We undertake projects of all sizes, and we are prepared to work with you to find the best solution to your organization’s needs.

We are a Kofax Capture Certified Document Conversion Center and the Midwest’s premier data management company. Our New London, MN roots inform our company’s values and dedication to our customers. That commitment means our clients get what they want when they want it, and within their budget.

We understand documents can be sensitive and confidential. Your privacy and security are of paramount importance to us.

Our clients include medical professionals, clinics, attorneys, and even government organizations. Our staff are vetted: they have background checks and are HIPAA certified. 

Contact us to discuss your data conversion needs with an experienced River City Data professional. Together, we can determine the best approach to suit you. 

hand hold 35mm film


Microfilm scanning services are vital in the 21st century. For much of the 20th century, businesses, libraries, banks, and hospitals used microfilm to store large amounts of records. River City Data can help you convert your business’s stash with their microfilm to digital image services.

Before you convert your microfilm, you may be interested to know its history. Where does microfilm originate? What is it made of, and when was it invented?

microfilm bobbin

What is Microfilm?

You or your business, agency, or organization might have a lot of microfilm to convert, but technology changes quickly. You may have never seen microfilm before, or you may wonder what precisely microfilm is.

The answer lies in the two words that make up the name: micro and film. Microfilm is tiny film negatives, around 1/25th of a document’s original size. Specialized equipment allows users to blow up the document on the film negative to a large scale for viewing. 

A Microhistory of Microfilm

Microfilm is like cloud computing’s great-grandfather. Before the cloud, businesses and organizations needed a way to store all their records. Traditional paper filing became too cumbersome for entities that needed to save a lot of information.


John Benjamin Dancer invented microfilm in Liverpool, England, in 1839. His family ran an optical shop as the science of daguerreotype photography was emerging. Luckily for history, Dancer was a dabbler who developed a way to shrink images onto film negatives.

Dancer also invented the first way to blow up small images to larger sizes. He figured out a way to make a six-inch daguerreotype of a flea.

René Dagron patented improved, standardized microfilm technology in France in 1859. The timing of this development proved fortunate. The Franco-Prussian War started a few years later in 1870, and folks needed to send information quickly and imperceptibly. 

Obviously, the internet and telephones did not yet exist. The first permanent transatlantic telegraph cable system was only developed a few years earlier in 1866. To get information in and out of Paris, the military dropped carrier pigeons transporting information out of hot air balloons.

Dagron pitched microfilm to the French government as a way to quickly transmit a lot of military information. He proposed that the military attach microfilm documents to the carrier pigeons. The carrier pigeons faced harrowing danger to bring the microfilm into Paris once the Prussians figured out the ruse.


Microfilm did not enjoy widespread use until the early 20th century. In 1906 a pair of Belgians- Goldschmidt and Otlet, wrote an essay arguing libraries could save space by using microfilm. 

After Goldschmidt and Otlet gave a demonstration at the 1913 meeting of the American Library Institute, the practice caught on. Within the next couple of decades, microfilm use was widespread among libraries, even the New York Times and Harvard.

man studying microfilm

Microfilming initiatives continue into the present day.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) still funds microfilming projects. In 1980 the NEH began supporting microfilming of old books whose information was more important than their physical form. This initiative was the Brittle Books Program.

Microfilm vs. Microfiche: What’s the Difference?

Many of us are familiar with microfiche from movies. A hero or heroine in a film has to solve some mystery and goes through old newspapers to find answers. You know the scene: the protagonist labors silently in a dark room. To set the mood, the only light comes from the machine illuminating the concentration on his face.

Is microfiche separate from microfilm? People may be surprised to learn that microfiche is microfilm. The difference is one of format.

Microfilm is a roll of film, which you may be familiar with from traditional cameras and photography. All microfiche is, in essence, is flat microfilm. You may find microfilm rolls in cassettes, cartridges, or reels.

Microfiche can contain fewer documents than microfilm. Their flatness, however, makes them easier to store. 

Now That I Understand More About Microfilm, How Should I Store It?

While microfilm was the most convenient form of document storage for decades, technology has clearly outpaced it. If you want to keep the documents stored on your microfilm but free up space, you need microfilm scanning services.

It is possible to physically preserve microfilm and microfiche. Polyester-based (as opposed to cellulose-based) film correctly stored can last up to 500 years. Correct storage for film means low-humidity, low (but not too low) temperatures can preserve your microfilm and microfiche.

Low-humidity usually means less than 50 percent humidity, and low-temperature is around 70 degrees or lower. Fortunately, microfilm has been polyester-based since the 1970s.

If You Prefer Microfilm Scanning Services to Physical Storage

Data exchange concept between hands of a woman in background

While there are certainly instances where businesses or organizations may still want to physically house microfilm, yours may not. If you can’t or won’t deal with the demands of proper microfilm storage, you need microfilm scanning services. Even if you want to maintain your microfilm physically, digital versions back them up in case of an emergency.

Microfilm scanning services let you preserve the information of the past in an up-to-date format. You need an adaptable scanning service that will allow your record storage to change with the technology of the times.

Currently, the two most widespread digital formats for digitally-scanned documents are PDF and tagged file format (Tiff). The National Archives and Records Administration of the United States endorses Tiff 6 as the standard digital document format. PDFs are gaining acceptance within the record storage space, however.

River City Data for Your Microfilm Scanning Needs

If you are ready to digitize your microfilm, River City Data’s Microfilm to Digital Images service can help. River City Data works with clients to develop a tailored approach to their business or organizational record-storage needs. 

Our user-friendly scanning service creates indexed, searchable digital versions of your old records. We can also preserve old photographs that may be valuable to your organization, or to you personally.

Contact River City Data to begin the process of long-term, secure record preservation. Reach out to our qualified team with your microfilm scanning questions or for information on pricing.

Businessman holding stack of files in storage room

Customer, financial, and legal data may as well be hard currency, just like dollar bills. If you’re running a business, no matter how large or small, your viability depends on your ability to store, sort, and access data. 

If you’ve got blended data formats, you have to efficiently perform data conversion so as not to lose valuable person-hours. It’s better to spend time growing other essential parts of your organization.

The quality of your document storage and retrieval systems can mean the difference between a stress-free year and weekly data headaches in many of your projects and procedures.

So, what happens when you need to transport raw or paper documentation to different CRM platforms, archival systems, vendors, reps, or other company collaborators? Can you trust the data hand-off to deliver accurate information to the people who need it to help make your business go?

At River City Data, Data Conversion is all we do. Your data integrity is our meat and potatoes. 

In this article, we’ll help you discern when to outsource professional data conversion services. Outsourcing this service can assure the accuracy of transferred information for continuous and consistent access and reliability in all your business operations.

When you’re ready to outsource your data conversion, contact us. We partner with you in data integrity, no matter where or how you need to store it or send it.

Digital transformation technology strategy, digitization and digitalization of business processes and data, optimize and automate operations, customer service management

To convert or not convert: sample scenarios for nimble decisions

Here three sample scenarios that may warrant a helping hand when switching from hard-copy court docs, medical records, list serves, and more.

Your business may mirror these examples. If so, it may be time to outsource your data conversion. 

 3 Reasons to Outsource Document Scanning Services

Close up of business documents stack on desk , report papers stack

Conversion case #1: Paper to online storage transition in a healthcare office

As more of our business operations become digitized, your file management may need to change with your software. 

For example, say you run a dental or chiropractic office. Depending on how long you’ve been in business, you may have a blend of paper and online patient charts. Both need to be retained and archived. How do you integrate them all for easy access and better patient care?

That’s easy. Hire a data conversion company specializing in high-quality document scanning and storage. You’ll get a complete and organized compilation of all your patients’ info first gathered in manilla folders.

After conversion, you’ll be able to store patient info on your portable drive. You can download into your CRM software for ease of access in the future. Be sure to check that your data conversion partner complies with HIPAA regulations, so your patient info remains protected.

Having a data outsourcing partner in this situation benefits you in several ways:

  • Efficiently delivering documents stored under newer digital patient files
  • File formatting consistency in the transfer of records
  • Compiling, downloading, and storing original databases in ways that seamlessly translate to your new system, with no lost information.

Further, you still have to run your business while the transition roles out. Outsourcing your data conversion means you can service your clients and market your products. Let the experts do all the heavy lifting of data conversion for you. 

Data conversion from paper to digital systems is a temporary challenge. Outsourcing data conversion provides a no-brainer solution within your operating budget without hiring additional staff.

Judge hammer and documents on room background

Conversion case #2: Litigation

It’s a wonder most courts aren’t drowning in paper. From wills to trusts, divorces, and child custody, there’s no shortage of documentation. All that paper must be accounted for in every case, regardless of the specialty.

Having a trusted, high-quality scanning partner means you’ll free up storage space and reduce the need for special equipment and extra staff. 

Leaning on a data conversion specialist gives you a simple solution for storing and archiving all your data within digital systems. Once converted, you’ll be able to attach digital documents to your existing clients inside your CRM systems. 

Be picky when you’re selecting a partner for this kind of conversion task. Make sure you can receive your converted documents in a format that will dovetail seamlessly with your existing software for secure archival and retrieval.

Your data conversion partner should be able to take time to meet and strategize with your IT department. Together, you’ll formulate the best delivery format for your converted files.

Conversion case #3: Insurance

Claims management is the perfect storm in which to have an accurate and reliable data conversion “navigation” system. 

With clients, medical providers, and repair professionals needing quick access to documentation, digitizing your paper files increases your responsiveness and enhances claims service.

Having a trusted data conversion partner enables you to collect claims information and policy orders in both paper and digital formats. You can also compile and store them within your claims management systems for secure and reliable access.

When you strategically delegate document management to an outside partner, you can generate more new business and more adeptly manage your existing client and claims load.

Stay on top of your insurance customer needs, claims compliance, and more with outsourced data conversion services.

The concept of the protection of the urban network . Hands show the protective shield.

River City Data: When your data needs to come of age.

With state-of-the-art scanning equipment and Kofax Document Conversion Certification, we’ll build a long-lasting and secure relationship with your organization. Our employees are each vetted, put through background checks, and BCA Certified optimizing security unmatched in the industry. 

Our primary goal is to deliver the data conversion services you require reliably, securely, and at competitive pricing that fits your budget. From general office document transfer to the most stringent compliance requirements, we will ensure a smooth transition of your paper documents into your existing digital storage and CRM systems.

We’ll work diligently with you to deliver your converted docs into the formats required within your software. We ensure uninterrupted customer service and business operations, on time and on point.

Contact us today to build out your data conversion strategy in any scope from small to large. We know the value of accurate, readable data you can access and use with ease. We’re your partner in data conversion services that delivers outstanding operational results and saves you time and money.