How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

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Squigy
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How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby Squigy » 10 Nov 2010, 01:54

I've heard some people on here talking about flash drive microfilm machines; how do those work? Do you create an individual file for each image, or can you put an entire film on a PDF? How much space does it take up (so I know how much memory the drive should have)?

I'm planning on going up to the FHL in Salt Lake City soon (really excited about that). It would be great to have access to all the records they have, and be able to put them on a flash drive so I can go through them at home.
My Italian surnames:

Caserta: Maietta, Rossano, Tessitore, Negro, Peluso, Musone

Campobasso: D'Andrea, Barile

Catanzaro: Fiorelli/Fiorillo, Romito

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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby oilman19 » 10 Nov 2010, 09:51

Hi Squigy

I use the scanner at my FHC. It is not simple or fast.

Here is the normal routine:

I read my films on a manual microfilm reader. I note the index/page number of the records I wish to retrieve.
When the scanner is available, I install my film and go to each record I wish to retrieve. I line up the record on the screen, adjust the focus, and then scan each record individually. At this point, you are at the mercy of the speed of the machine for 1 document at a time. If you have multiple pages for 1 document, multiply your time by that factor.
After you scan the document, it is located on the computer that is attached. You may use a media (such as a flash drive) to copy the record(s) you have scanned.
Once scanned onto your flash drive, you now have an electronic copy of the document you wish to save. As long as you care for that record, you now own it to do as you please on your computer.
I scan in 300 dpi for the best clarity. I currently store approximately 2000 documents on a 16 gig flash drive and that takes up about 6 gigs of space. Once home, I crop my pictures to reduce the amount of space they require on the media.
I cannot speak to what is available in Utah. I understand their machinery is more modern. However, you still must read the film to decide on which ones you desire. They could have a faster scanner but I suspect you will still have to scan 1 document at a time.
It is a time consuming process, but well worth it. I have the ability to view any record I have scanned by using my computer at home. I only hope I haven't skipped any valuable ones.

Good luck to you.
Jim

Researching surnames Ianniello, Tamburrino, Mattora/Martora/Mattori & Scialla in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Caserta, Campania.

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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 10 Nov 2010, 12:28

I will add that the scanner at the Newtown, CT facility is of the type shown on this page ( http://www.microcolour.com/canon_ms300.html ). I encourage you to download and review the manual, which can be found at http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/sna/offic ... F300IM.pdf

The Newtown machine has the "Roll / Fiche Carrier 200" installed.

As Jim mentioned, you install your film and then use the motorized transport system to locate the desired image. There are three spoked wheels on the lens: the uppermost allows you to rotate the image horizontally or vertically or anywhere in between; the middle wheel adjusts the zoom ratio; and the lowest wheel adjusts the image focus. Note: if you can't seem to zoom the image small enough or large enough, it may be because someone swapped the lens assembly - the Newtown facility has a lens designed specifically for 16mm films and another for 35mm films.

Once the image is arranged as you like, you turn to the nearby PC which is running the "Capture Perfect" software application (not certain if this is the same version, but a manual is at http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=w ... BLMzkKy6jA ). Click File -> Scan to Page to initiate the scanning process which takes about 5 seconds for 16mm film (I expect more - 15 seconds? - for 35mm films). The image appears in the CapturePerfect window. You can zoom the image, etc, to ensure that it is sufficently focused and aligned, etc. Once satisfied, you click File -> Save As and follow the steps you normally would to name the file and save it to your flash drive.

I hope this additional info helps. Adding these scanners finally made researching FHL microfilms a viable option for me; I found the older laser-printer output scheme to be simply hopeless.

PS: Adding a bit more to something Jim said:

it is not practical to actually try to read films on this machine; the zoom ratio is just too small to do any serious reading of the on-screen image (the film carrier's screen, not the PC's). You should use the old-style film viewers to determine which images you want to scan and make notes which will help you locate those same images later on the scanner. Also, with only one scanner in the office, you want to be mindful of tieing it up if it appears that other's may be waiting to use it.
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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby Eleven » 10 Nov 2010, 14:28

Wouldnt you be better off with a digital camera?

We had this discussion a couple of years ago on the gente forum. A few people had great success using a digital camera. Some used a stand to steady the camera, some didnt. I believe someone posted a document and it was outstanding.

I recall looking on the net for info on this. I believe I might have it, somewhere in my computer. If I find it, I will post it here. It might be another option to think about.

Also, Ancestry has been adding Italian civil records. A couple of months ago, they added my father's town in Sicily. Talk about outstanding copies..they are crisp and clear, nothing like the records that i copied at the FHL, which were black on gray and very difficult to read.

You can go to ancestry.com. Click the search tab up top. Choose card catalog. Type in Italy. You will get a list of what they have.

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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby Eleven » 10 Nov 2010, 14:43

Ok..I found a bunch of websites that I saved pertaining to using a digital camera. You probably could practice at home. I would take a look at this method. At the time we were discussing this, I went out and bought the camera..lol..only, thats as far as I got. However, if I ever went back to the FHL, I would use this method.

http://www.ancestry.com/learn/library/a ... %3a679%3a0

http://www.ehow.com/how_4842112_photogr ... ofilm.html

http://www.google.com/search?q=photogra ... &tbs=vid:1

http://www.byui.edu/ce/assets/documents ... ital08.pdf

http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/t ... r-m70.html

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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby oilman19 » 10 Nov 2010, 14:51

I Have never tried using a digital camera, but I suspect many people on the forum have. Most people I have conferred with have told me that once they use a scanner they would never want to use the camera again. Maybe someone who has done both may want to chime in on the subject.

In order to compare quality of image, you would have to compare images from the same microfilm. Of the many films I have rented, they range from "good" to "quite awful" in clarity. Whatever shows up from Salt Lake City is what you are stuck with.

Would you know if Ancestry gets its images from the mormon's microfiilms? If so, they are at the mercy of the quality of the same films.

Since my ancestral town is not on Ancestry, I will continue to use the scanner at the FHC. I don't feel I have any choice. It provides me with better control over the images I am using for my ancestral research.
Jim

Researching surnames Ianniello, Tamburrino, Mattora/Martora/Mattori & Scialla in Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Caserta, Campania.

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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby Squigy » 11 Nov 2010, 01:57

Thanks for all the informative answers! I have used a digital camera and the quality of the image was fair, I'll bring one for comparisons sake when I go.

Ancestry doesn't have any of my ancestral Italian comunes online, but I did see in one of their emails that they're getting Caserta records soon, but I have no idea when that project will actually be finished. The best source right now is FHL films. Not only that, I'll be researching German lines, and they have a ton of baptism records for Germany.
My Italian surnames:



Caserta: Maietta, Rossano, Tessitore, Negro, Peluso, Musone



Campobasso: D'Andrea, Barile



Catanzaro: Fiorelli/Fiorillo, Romito

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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby Eleven » 11 Nov 2010, 02:31

Oilman, At first, I thought they got them from the mormons, because it seems whatever ancestry has, online, the FHL has on film. It seems, tho, that ancestry is only putting out the later records. Whatever they have is from 1866-1910 (they claim its to 1939, but all they have are a few years in the 30's, nothing from the 20's). I see no reason, if they were getting them from the FHL why they wouldnt have the earlier records (which I know the FHL has for the town I am working on, since I viewed them about 17 years ago).

I have a feeling ancestry is copying their own. When you bring up the page for a town in Italy, that they have, it says this:

Source Information
Ancestry.com. Potenza, Basilicata, Italy, Civil Registration Records, 1861-1938 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data: Tribunali di Lagonegro e Potenza, Italy, Civil Registration Records, 1866-1938. Civil records collected from various towns throughout the province of Potenza, Basilicata, Italy.

(Nowhere does it mention the LDS-FHL and one would think if that was where they got them, they would have to mention that.)

Of course, that is for Potenza. I was very disappointed with this particular area, because they have a ton of towns..all except for the town that I need (Rionero in Vulture). I know this town is very big and couldnt figure out why it wouldnt be included. Then someone told me when they film (I believe they meant the FHL, but my guess would be, so does ancestry) they do it at the provincial level, and they dont have the records for some towns. Well, I know the FHL has the earlier records for this town, but, since ancestry doesnt seem to be providing those, they have nothing.

I guess thats more info than ya wanted..lol But, my answer would be..ancestry is filming themselves..and the quality of these records are outstanding.

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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby Eleven » 11 Nov 2010, 02:45

Me again. As long as ancestry has come up, if you want to check to see what they have, go to ancestry.com. Up top, choose search, then choose card catalog. In the box, type Italy. You should get a list of all of the italian provinces they have. Once you choose a province, to the right, should be a drop down menu with the towns. You can do the search for free. You could probably enter a name and a little info to see if they have who you are looking for...but, to see the document, you will have to pay.

You have to take the world deluxe. The price, with tax comes to about 33 dollars a month..a small price to pay..believe me. I have been copying entire years. It takes me less than 5 minutes a year. If they have your town..this is the way to go.

(Sorry for hijacking your thread, but I figured this would help people decide whether to subscribe or not..to view these records. I highly recommend it, if they have your town.)

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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 11 Nov 2010, 02:59

Eleven wrote:You have to take the world deluxe. The price, with tax comes to about 33 dollars a month..


Maybe, maybe not. See this thread for a possible option: http://italiangenealogy.com/Forums/viewtopic/t=18782/
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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby Eleven » 11 Nov 2010, 04:04

Thats very interesting.

To be honest, I would have paid ANY price to be able to sit home in my underwear and do in 8 hours, what it used to take 8 visits and a 45 minute drive to do, when I went to the FHL.

I spent 2 years, twice a week at my local FHL in the early 90s. I did both my father and father in laws towns. I had the time cut in half because they didnt have the proper lenses to view these films on their readers. The only lens that I was able to see with, was on their reader/copier. They let me use that, but I had to get off 15 minutes before closing, if anyone needed it.

In all honesty..that was good for me, but bad for the other people. I didnt have to go from one machine to another, but they had to make notes and then re-find their documents on the film.

While, I may have had it easy, I hear that now, at the same FHL, they wont let people use that reader/copier to copy records. You have to now wait for a volunteer to do it for you. I would NEVER go back there again. And you can triple that sentiment after using these ancestry records. I never thought I would see this, in my lifetime and always said..I would pay ANY price to be able to research at home. God answered my prayers..and I would indeed have paid ANY price. The 30 some odd bucks is nothing..compared to what the FHL cost me (and now film rental is double the price and copies went up to 5x the price). Not to mention how convenient and fast this is..having crisp clear copies. And I already mentioned, it takes me less than 5 minutes to copy a years worth.

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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby johnnyonthespot » 11 Nov 2010, 05:53

If I thought I could get away with sneaking my films out of the FHC (just one at a time), I would gladly purchase a used scanner and sit up all night capturing every image of every record which is even remotely tied to my family.
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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby Squigy » 11 Nov 2010, 06:26

johnnyonthespot wrote:If I thought I could get away with sneaking my films out of the FHC (just one at a time), I would gladly purchase a used scanner and sit up all night capturing every image of every record which is even remotely tied to my family.


So would I! :wink:

Eleven:

I've had Ancestry.com (World Deluxe) for about 2 years now. I have found a great deal of records for my family, and have definitely gotten my moneys worth (I also help friends with their genealogy, too, sometimes). Unfortunately, as I said, they have no Italian records relevant to my family.

Like I said, Ancestry.com is good, but they're far from having records for all of Italy. It will probably take years before they get to all my ancestral comuni. Microfilm is just easier (not to mention faster).
My Italian surnames:



Caserta: Maietta, Rossano, Tessitore, Negro, Peluso, Musone



Campobasso: D'Andrea, Barile



Catanzaro: Fiorelli/Fiorillo, Romito

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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby Eleven » 11 Nov 2010, 07:10

I think they are doing ok in getting them on there as far as time. It seems like every couple of months, they have been adding to it.

I am so glad they figured out that they didnt have to index the stuff. Separating by year and using the indexes for those years work very well.

I do indexing/arbitrating for the FHL (well, I was, until I joined ancestry..lol). I had also done some for ancestry. I couldnt figure out WHY they needed these indexes (I had been working on trento baptisms). I knew some people had copied their entire town or parts of them and had them on their town websites, by years. I couldnt figure out why both the FHL and ancestry were bothering with this indexing (thinking..I will be dead 50 years before they get anything I might need). I am glad they woke up.

I had those thoughts also, wishing I could get that film and rent or buy my own reader..lol But, now the dream has come true..with these ancestry records. It is absolutely amazing.

Hang in there. I have a feeling that if the FHL has your records, ancestry will have them sooner than you might think.

I believe that the records that the FHL does not have, is because the towns never sent copies to the provinces. I have sort of lost hope, that I will see these 1866-1939 records for rionero in vulture. The FHL doesnt have those years, either. They only have 1865-1802ish. I could use those, also..but ancestry doesnt seem to be adding the earlier records yet.

In all honesty. I have copied just about every record for my fathers town. I am going to put them on dvd so I will always have them.

I am only going to keep ancestry for another month or two..until they get something else that I need. Then I will rejoin. I probably could leave now..but, I am so grateful for these records, that I will hang in there for a little bit more.

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Re: How do flash drive microfilm machines work?

Postby Eleven » 11 Nov 2010, 07:24

Oh..I wanted to ask you this, Squigy. In one of your posts up there, you mentioned that in some emailing, they said they would be getting Caserta records soon. I didnt see any email like that, but, I delete a lot of things without reading them..lol

Have you come across anyplace on ancestry that has such a list..like, a "coming soon" area? I would love to see what they have in the works.

What they are putting out there now, has not been indexed by the volunteers. They have the original indexes (out of the books) and you can choose to search those..which give you the cert number. You then go into the drop down and choose the actual records and look for the cert number. (Actually, when I started, I skipped the indexes and went page by page). Using the indexes first, saves a lot of time. You can always go page by page, later.

These Italian records should be out there in no time. Its not like they have to wait months and months for people to index them.

Actually, ancestry WAS and is, still making volunteers index some italian towns. Those are coming on in dribs and drabs.

What I think happened is..they began with having indexes made..but it was taking too long. I volunteered for them almost 3 years ago..and they still havent finished the records for the 2 places they had back then. Like I said, someone must have clued them in..that they didnt need these typed indexes.

Anyway..if they said "soon" I would say a matter of months, certainly not years.


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