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State Imaging & Microfilm Lab

State Imaging & Microfilm Lab (SIML) New Feature! Digital Exhibit: The History of Microfilm

The State Imaging and Microfilm Laboratory (SIML) is located in room N055 of the Indiana Government Center North building and is charged with providing cost-effective imaging and microfilming services to State government pursuant to standards adopted by the State of Indiana.

Let us help you preserve past and present Indiana government records for the future. SIML specializes in creating high quality microfilm using standards prescribed by 60 IAC 2 and the Indiana Rules of Court, Administrative Rule 6 for permanent preservation. This rule provides the parameters for density and resolution, and the specific targets that are required for every roll of film. SIML follows these standards to ensure that documents that are filmed today will be accessible up to 500 years from now.

We invite you to read more about our services in detail below and to reach out with any questions you may have.

Phone: 317-232-3381

Current SIML reformatting services and fee schedule.

Thumbnail image of slideshow/timeline feature: At the top, an image of boxes and microfilm reels with the text "THE HISTORY OF MICROFILM" followed by text rendered illegible due to the reduced size of the thumbnail. Below that image, a sliding left/right timeline with visible dates extending from 1796 to 1881.

The IARA Imaging and Microfilm Laboratory has been creating microfilm to preserve Indiana's history since 1937. Microfilm is the the scaled-down reproduction of documents on film, used to preserve important information for up to 500 years. Originally created as a novelty in the 1800s, the practice is now considered the most effective in the archival sciences for long-term preservation. Learn about microfilm's journey from useless parlor trick to the gold standard in historical safeguarding, in our new photo-filled slideshow and interactive timeline.

Reformatting Services

The State Imaging and Microfilm Laboratory provides cost effective reformatting services for archives, records management divisions, and government agencies.  Using standards adopted by the State of Indiana, SIML specializes in converting organizations’ records to any medium to increase their accessibility and improve their preservation while also adhering to retention schedules.  SIML is willing to work closely with organizations to develop a strategy specific to their needs by incorporating the most up to date technologies, methods, and standards.

Digital to Microfilm

This is best for any document that is born-digital or digitally derived, primarily formatted as PDF, TIFF, or JPEG, in need of a reliable copy to sustain changing technologies.  Digital formats not listed are accessed on a case-to-case basis.  Using state-of-the-art archival equipment, digital materials are written to 16mm or 35mm preservation microfilm.  This process creates a sustainable format for future digital conversions and provides a secure analog backup.

For more information click here: Conversion of Electronic Records to Microfilm.docx

Microfilm to Digital

This is best for microfilmed records that need improved accessibility due to changing demands and work procedures.  Existing 16mm and 35mm rolls of microfilm are run through a specialized scanner to create digital images with an option for Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for keyword searching.  Documents can then be made available to any virtual space improving overall productivity.

Processing and Duplication

These services are best for those that do their own microfilming or need copies of their microfilmed records.  Adhering to best archival practice and state law, 16mm and 35mm microfilm is developed using a specialized film processor.  Master rolls of microfilm can be duplicated on silver-halide polyester or diazo duplicate film.  These processes provide flexibility to accommodate the needs of the end user.

State Forms for requesting reformatting services

SF 56676 – Request for Services (SIML pricing) - PDF | MS Word

  • Needed in order to request reformatting services from SIML

SF 25186 – Carton Label

  • When transferring records to SIML for reformatting services, please label each carton/box according to the records residing within

Master film may be stored in a climate-controlled vault at the Indiana State Archives at no additional cost.

Digital Exhibit: The History of Microfilm

You can use the +/- magnifying glass tools above left to zoom in/out for finer or broader date spans. You can also click and hold the timeline itself to drag it left or right. (Forward or backward in time.)

Use the large arrows on the left and right side of the photo to scroll through the visual timeline of important historical events!


Phone: 317-232-3381

State Imaging and Microfilm Laboratory
Indiana Archives and Records Administration
100 N. Senate Avenue, Room N055
Indianapolis, IN 46204