In today’s age of digital information storage, it’s easy to forget that not too long ago, paper records were the norm, and large engineering drawings, maps, and other technical documents were stored on aperture cards. These small, rectangular cards with a cut-out window containing a microfilm image were widely used by engineers, architects, and other professionals in the mid-20th century.
But what exactly are aperture cards, and why aperture card scanning services are so popular? Read on to learn more about aperture cards and explore their role in document management.
What Are Aperture Cards, and Why Were They Used?
Aperture cards are microforms that were commonly used in the past to store and access large volumes of drawings, maps, and other technical documents. These cards contain a piece of microfilm with a tiny rectangular hole, or aperture, in the center. The aperture allows light to pass through the microfilm and display the image on a screen or printer. Some aperture cards contain hole punches that indicate certain index and naming information. This is known as Hollerith data.
Aperture cards were widely used in the mid-20th century to store large documents. Here are some of the main uses of aperture cards:
- Engineering Drawings: One of the primary uses of aperture cards was to store engineering drawings. These large-scale technical drawings were incredibly cumbersome and difficult to store and access. Still, with aperture cards, they were reduced to a smaller size without losing any of the detail.
- Maps and Geographic Data: Aperture cards were also commonly used to store maps and geographic data. Like engineering drawings, maps could be quite large and unwieldy, but storing them on aperture cards made them more compact and easier to store.
- Archiving Documents: Aperture cards were also used as a means of archiving important documents, such as legal records or historical documents. The microfilm images on aperture cards were considered a reliable and durable means of preserving information, making them a popular choice for long-term document storage.
- Distribution: Aperture cards were often used to duplicate and distribute documents. By creating microfilm images of important documents, multiple copies could be made and distributed to different locations, ensuring the information was accessible to anyone who needed it.
While aperture cards are now largely obsolete, they played an important role in document management during their heyday. By allowing engineers, architects, and other professionals to store and access large technical documents in a more compact and manageable format, they helped to streamline document management and improve the efficiency of businesses and organizations.
As digital technology has advanced, aperture cards have become outdated and difficult to access, making scanning them necessary to preserve and utilize their contents.
Benefits of Scanning Aperture Cards
Scanning aperture cards offers numerous benefits for organizations that need to access and utilize their technical information. Here are some of the key advantages of using professional microfilm scanning services for scanning aperture cards.
Improved Access and Retrieval
Aperture cards can be difficult and time-consuming to access and retrieve, particularly if stored in a physical archive. Plus, you will need specialized equipment to read them. Scanning aperture cards allows you to easily search and retrieve the information you need from your computer, saving you valuable time and improving productivity.
Enhanced Accuracy and Quality
Aperture cards can be difficult to read and interpret, particularly if they are damaged or degraded over time. Scanning your aperture cards can enhance the accuracy and quality of your technical information, ensuring that it is legible and usable for years to come.
High Data Security
Physical aperture cards are vulnerable to damage, loss, and theft, which can result in the loss of critical data. Scanning your aperture cards and storing them digitally can help protect your data and ensure that it is secure and easily accessible when you need it.
Improved Collaboration and Sharing
Scanning aperture cards allows you to easily share and collaborate on technical information with colleagues and partners worldwide. This can help improve collaboration, streamline workflows, and facilitate innovation.
Indexing and Document Retrieval
Once the aperture cards are scanned you will need a viable way to find the correct images that you need. If the cards contain hole punched hollerith data, professional scanners can capture this information and auto-index the data so that the images are associated with the proper content so that it can easily be found within your document management system. If no hollerith data is present, the necessary information can be manually indexed from specified fields on the image itself.
Choose Reliable Aperture Card Scanning Services
If you are looking for professional microfilm scanning services, consider Smooth Solutions. The scanning experts at Smooth Solutions specialize in professional microfilm scanning services, including aperture card scanning. The team uses appropriate equipment and software to provide high-quality scans that are accurate, reliable, and easy to access.
They understand the importance of your technical information, which is why they take great care to ensure that it is scanned and stored securely. They also offer flexible delivery options to meet your specific needs so that you can get the necessary scanning services. Contact Smooth Solutions today to learn more about their aperture card scanning services and how they can help you preserve and utilize your technical information.