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Film-Based Imaging: New Views and Applications.

TITLE: Film-Based Imaging: New Views and Applications

ISBN: 0-89258-346-0

PUBLISHER: Association for Information and Image Management International (AIIM)

PUBLICATION DATE: 1998

LENGTH: 295 pages

PRICE: $59 AIIM members, $79 non-members

SOURCE: AIIM International, (888) 839-3165, www.aiim.org

Film-Based Imaging: New Views and Applications is a book with a forward-sounding title that appears to move beyond the world of micrographics and into the new world of imaging, offering new insight about an area of technology and the challenges of managing information today. It is, instead, a minimally updated version of the classic Micrographic Systems originally written by Daniel Costigan (first and second editions) and William Saffady (third edition). This book may disappoint those looking for a great store of new information; however, it holds its value as a good primer on micrographics.

Author Don Avedon has presented us with a work that acknowledges its own pedigree in the forward, however it is largely a reprint of Saffady's 1990 version. Without the title and the associated preconceptions, what is left is a very informative guide to micrographic systems.

Concepts, types of microforms, film processing, input/output equipment, and cost analysis are covered in such a way as to be a useful introduction for the novice and a detailed reference guide for the manager. The virtues of Saffady's work are well known, and there is little need to repeat a review of the third edition, except to illustrate points of comparative change within Avedon's book.

The most important but least satisfying change is the addition of a final chapter, which is the justification for the book's title change. If Chapter Eight, "Hybrid Systems and Applications," had been written in the same exhausting and detailed fashion as the rest of the book, it might have been a useful step toward defining where the field of micrographics is heading, both technologically and conceptually. Regrettably, this chapter uses only two brief pages to mention equipment: reader-scanners and the M drive. A discussion of actual and potential applications fares little better. There is no discussion of scanning methodologies for various types of source documents, associated technologies for character recognition, indexing, or the truly innovative hybrid systems emerging in today's market. The remainder of the chapter comprises case studies, which, while interesting, offer little evaluation or analysis that could be useful to others.

One of the most important and useful chapters is Chapter Seven, "Cost Analysis." Although it is an often overlooked procedure, a thorough cost analysis of a project or a purchase juxtaposed with a workflow analysis can be vital. This chapter outlines how this is done and the issues involved. Although not vital to understanding the process, it would have been better if the figures used had been updated to approximate today's rates.

A few changes were made throughout the book in an attempt to update it, but they are in some cases inaccurate and far too few to make a substantial improvement on the third edition. For example, Avedon replaces Saffady's term archival microfilming with preservation microfilming. He inappropriately applies it only to the act of filming non-active records for long-term storage. Today, preservation microfilming more accurately describes a methodology used by archivists and librarians for protecting fragile, historical, and rare documents.

A more serious, and potentially costly, error is in the section on microfilming standards. Avedon states that "except when mandated by an organization's internal operating procedure, adherence to microfilm standards is voluntary." While this may be true for some in the private sector, documents created by or for state and federal entities are required to follow established micrograhics standards. In order to ensure a quality product in any sector, adherence to standards continues to be important.

Ultimately, Film-Based Imaging is an informative reference source, although it fails to address all the new issues, topics, views, and technologies that are affecting imaging and micrographics today.

Whitney Miller, CA, is university records archivist at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. She can be contacted at millerwh@pilot.msu.edu.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Association of Records Managers & Administrators (ARMA)
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:MILLER, WHITNEY
Publication:Information Management Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2000
Words:666
Previous Article:IN REVIEW: Another Option for Getting Published.
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