Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

June 20, 2008

Microfilming Registry Records

by @ 1:52 pm. Filed under Registry Ops

When we ceased creating paper record books back in November 2001, that decision was made easier by the knowledge that we routinely photograph all recorded documents for output to microfilm that is stored in a secure, offsite location. So as reliable as computers have become and with all the backup mechanisms in place, our last line of defence is and will remain microfilm, a remarkably stable and proven storage medium. We’re about to change our process for creating microfilm, however. Back in 1999, we purchased what was at the time a very sophisticated camera that contained a fully automatic, duplex page feeder. Because we were still printing our own record books, we simply stuck an unbound book in the camera’s feedtray and pushed a button. The rest was automatic. Since this machine was a signficant investment, we continued using it even after we stopped printing record books. Unfortunately, we still had to print paper copies of our recorded documents so that we could make the microfilm This was and is a significant waste of paper since those paper prints cease to be of any use as soon as they’ve been fed into the microfilmer. Now that the microfilmer is nearing its tenth anniversary (a long time for any piece of electronic equipment) and because the annual maintenance cost has continuously risen, we have decided to invest in a new machine, one that creates microfilm directly from the scanne dimages. That machine should be delivered soon and will be in operation in early July. We will still make microfilm of every document, but we’ll conserve quite a bit of paper through the use of this new device.

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