Mahakala Thangka, courtesy Marian Bond
Image courtesy of Andy Fenton
Image courtesy of Feilding Public Library


Recollect is the logical extension of the business we’ve been passionate about since 1990.

Over the years we’ve worked with clients who have fantastic collections and ideas about sharing them but struggled with barriers of tools and technology. Recollect was developed in response to this need; we provide the solution for organisations that want to do something truly exciting with their digital content while still retaining full control over their assets.

Because we’re innovative and responsive to new ideas and requirements Recollect has become the fastest growing area of our business.

So what exactly is Recollect?

Recollect is a new approach to digital asset / collection / media management. It pushes the limitations of ‘out of the box’ platforms to deliver targeted knowledge & content, complete control over security and greater connection with user communities.

It is backed by a dedicated development and support team to ensure solutions that fit with individual businesses’ goals and audience needs.

For more information, click to visit

"One of the things I love the most about Recollect is the fact that it is continually evolving and embracing new technologies as they’re developed.  Recollect for us is an absolutely critical platform for future community engagement."   Debbie Duncan - Upper Hutt City Library

You can see RECOLLECT in action at:

Ngā Ripo o Mua Ripples of the Past

Upper Hutt City Library Heritage Collection

Lincoln University Living Heritage

Feilding Public Library Digital Collection

Northland Room Digital Collection

Hocken Snapshop

New Zealand Educational Institute Te Riu Roa

Videotape digitisation

Many institutions recorded video on tape in the 1980s and 1990s.  A large amount of history has been recorded to this medium.  In a 1993 American Library of Congress administered survey of 500 archives it was projected that there were at least 26 million audio and video tapes held in established, working archives through the world. Of these, approximately 17 million carried audio, the rest were video, and, to a significantly lesser degree, sound tracks to motion pictures. Even if these figures are incorrect - even by as much as 50% - we would still find over 13 million tapes in archival collections.

Videotape was hugely used in the consumer market as well. You may well indeed have old tapes lying around on the bookcase or in the cupboard - old family gatherings, the kids ultrasound scans, wedding videos. And chances are they're not being stored in the correct way. Incorrect storage in a warm place can lead to damage that makes the videotape permanently useless. Video players are notorious for "chewing up" tapes, as many of us remember well. At best the tape is retrieved but never plays properly again. At worst the tape is completely ruined and you won't be playing it again. To compound things, technology is continually evolving and not only have most people retired their VCRs - it's now difficult to purchase a new VCR if you wanted to view them now. Either way the memories are completely lost.

Tapes can also deteriorate over time, especially when they've been watched a lot, until the quality degrades until the point where they are unwatchable.  

Format transfer through digitisation ensures the further degredation of the videotape no longer becomes an issue to viewing.  We digitise the following videotape formats:

  • Video8 PAL, NTSC
  • Hi-8 PAL, NTSC
  • Digital-8 PAL
  • MiniDV PAL

Let us help

Contact us for more information.

Audio cassette digitisation

Future proof your audiocassette tapes against loss or damage

Cassettes were the first to give us portable music and most of us had large collections. They were also widely used for interviews and live recordings. But they were never designed for longevity or for the amount of playing they were often subjected to and now these cassettes are sitting on shelves with no guarantee that they’ll still be playable in the years to come.

If you have a collection of audio tapes and want to preserve some or all of them, now is your chance – we offer discount pricing on large collections.

What we do:

  • We inspect the cassette tape.
  • If necessary we will bake the tape to ensure that it can be used. If the tapes are mouldy or damaged we will contact you to advise of their suitability for digitisation.
  • Tapes are digitised to 24 bit/96kHz quality, and individual tracks split out for easy navigation.
  • Audio files can be written to .WAV files at 24 bit/96Khz quality, or written to CD at 16 bit/44.1Khz.

PLEASE NOTE: Quality can vary due to the condition of the original tape recording.

What we can digitise:

We can digitise all C series cassettes, both stereo and 4 track recordings (with an option of mixdown), and can even captue recordings from answering machines and mini audiocassettes from tape-based note recorders.

Let us help

Contact us for more information.

8mm and 16mm Film Digitisation

Professional HD scanning of motion film reels

If you have old movies on film we can help you with digitisation.

In association with Film Transfer Ltd, we offer high quality scanning using a "frame-by-frame" capture system. This is an archival-quality transfer process designed to allow further post production work such as editing and colour correction.

Film Transfer utilises intermittent pull-down film scanners that scan each frame individually, locked down in a pin-registered film gate, sampling roughly 7 to 12 frames per second. With "Frame by Frame" scanning you avoid the flickering, smearing, fallout and vignetting that occurs with continuous-film telecine systems or cheap DIY home made transfers.  This means a high resolution digital image of each frame of the film is captured, with a much higher resolution and a fuller range of colours compared to continuous-film scanners.

Unlike many systems used to digitise films, Film Transfer's scanners do not rely on projection or mirrors, nor do they use consumer camcorders to capture the images. Instead, machine-vision cameras are used to capture each frame directly from the film as it passes in front of a diffused light. This is the same process used by professionals processing film archives for movie studios, television production companies, or other demanding clients.

All film undertakes a Physical and Content Assessment before being passed on to Film Transfer for digitisation.  Once approved for digitisation, films are manually cleaned and checked to ensure splices and magnetic strip (if there is a soundtrack) are capable of passing through the scanning system. At any stage in this process a film can be declared 'unfit' if decay is too pronounced or either NZMS or Flm Transfer believe the film is unable to be digitised without film conservation.

The scanner outputs the film frames into a sequence of individual pictures, using high-end data storage devices. Frames are sampled in RGB 24 or 48 bits format and high resolution up to 4000 pixels, allowing much deeper colours and better control over the movie frames to make your film look better than ever. Film Transfer can modify image colour, brightness, sharpness and contrast during acquisition and also post processing using open source software. Each scene, as a context, is controlled frame by frame, and brightness and saturation are quantified by the videoscope and can be corrected interactively

We can offer a full service of 2k and 4k DCP encoding with gamma 2.6, XYZ colourspace and 10 to 16 bits depth with an option of grading and editing ensuring that your captured recordings will look as good as they did when first shot. NZMS uses Adobe's Creative Cloud and Neat Video software for post production.

The following films can be captured:

  • 8mm film
  • 16mm film
  • Super 8mm, Super 8mm Sound

We output video files to Quicktime MOV for Archive, Prores 422 for Mezzanine and H.264 for Access.

Let us help

Contact us for more information.

Vinyl Record Digitisation

Many of us have a collection of old vinyl records tucked away in a cupboard and it’s likely that you don’t have a record player to play them on. Did you know that you can have these records digitised so you can enjoy the music again?

We can digitise 45rpms, 33rpms and even old 78rpm vinyl records to .WAV or .MP3 digital files for your iPod, or even to a CD you can play on your computer, or in your car.

What we do:

We inspect the record and clean if necessary to ensure the best possible sound.
Records are digitised to 24 bit/96kHz quality, and individual tracks split out for easy navigation.
Audio files can be written to .WAV files at 24 bit/96Khz quality, or written to CD at 16 bit/44.1Khz.

PLEASE NOTE: Quality can vary due to the condition of the original vinyl recording and pressing.

1/4” Reel to Reel Tape Digitisation

Reel to Reel audio tapes used to be the main way to capture sound and a number of recordings were produced on these before the advent of much less complicated cassette and 8 track tapes. They were most often used in broadcasting and music industries for recording radio shows and bands, and a large number of both amateur and commercial recordings were produced on 1/4" tape.

Why should I digitise my tape based recordings?

You may have old reels tucked away and they will likely be starting to suffer now. Many of the older magnetic tapes now suffer from "sticky shed" syndrome, which makes it important to have them stabilised and/or converted to digital to ensure they last a much longer period of time. Sticky-shed syndrome is a condition created by the deterioration of the binders in a magnetic tape, which hold the iron oxide magnetisable coating to its plastic carrier. This deterioration renders the tape unusable. Some kinds of binder are known to break down over time, due to the absorption of moisture from the air (hydrolysation).

The symptoms of this breakdown are immediately obvious even when rewinding the tape: tearing sounds and sluggish behaviour. If a tape with sticky-shed syndrome is played, the reels will make screeching or squeaking sounds, and the tape will leave dusty, rusty particles on the guides and heads. We commonly bake tapes to temporarily repair sticky-shed syndrome to allow the tapes to be digitised.

Depending on tape speed, we capture from either our Studer/Revox B77 MKII, or Otari 5050MX-II reel to reel tape player.  We  digitise 1/4" mono and stereo tape with the following speeds:

inches/sec cm/sec Normal use
15 38.10 Most common speed professional studio recording
7 1/2 19.05 Most common pre-recorded playback speed, highest domestic speed
3 3/4 9.53 Second most common pre-recorded playback speed
1 7/8 4.76 Lowest common reel to reel speed


"Baking" tapes? What's that and why do you do it?

The binder is the weak point of most audio and videotapes. In the late sixties, polyester urethane became a popular binder for tapes because of its low cost and durability.

The binder is the chemical compound that holds the oxide particles together and sticks them to the tape backing. Under humid conditions (which means anything but controlled low-humidity storage), the polyurethane used in the binder has a tendency to absorb water. The water reacts with the urethane molecules, causing them to migrate to the surface of the tape where they gum up the tape path during playback.

Short strings of urethane molecules are particulary prone to water absorption, while long strings make the coating mixture too viscous to produce good tape. Middle-length strings are the best, but the tape manufacturers didn't know this at the time, and didn't always know what they were getting. In the case of Ampex tape, tapes most likely at risk are 406 and 456 manufactured from approximately 1975 through 1984. During those years, Ampex tested the goop they got from their binder suppliers simply by measuring viscosity. Unfortunately, the long and short strings average out, viscosity-wise, to a viscosity about the same as the ideal medium strings, so some tape was inevitibely manufactured with an overly great proportion of short urethane strings in the binder. In the worst cases, as little as 3 days' exposure to 70% relative humidity can cause a tape to become gummy, but typically, it takes 2 to 15 years under normal, people-friendly ambient conditions. In 1984, Ampex started doing it's incoming inspection with a high pressure gas chromatograph (that's when it was invented), and was able to more accurately determine the molecular makeup of it's binder, and control production much more carefully.

The first sign of binder breakdown is usually the presence of a powder or a gummy residue on the surface of the tape. When the tape is played, this residue attaches to the playback heads, with results ranging from poor (or no) playback to a jammed machine, and/or damage to the playback heads. The tape can be made playable by using a tape-cleaning machine to remove the powder from its surface or by "baking" the tape.

The good news is that the "sticky shed syndrome" resulting from water absorption by the short urethane molecule chains is almost always fixable. The process for repair is commonly know as "baking a tape". The fix lasts about a month under normal storage conditions, and Ampex claims that a tape can be re-baked any number of times without ill effects.

To bake a tape, you want to expose it to even heat, ideally at 130 degrees F (54°C - we use 58°C), with a variation of less than plus or minus 10 degrees. Too cool and the process is ineffective, too hot and you're starting to risk increasing print-through (this means that some of the particles transfer from one piece of tape to another, with a resulting "ghost" image of sound or video on the tape affected).

We've achieved our best results using food grade dehumidifiers, and we test using hygrometers to ensure that the air in the dehumidifier reaches around 25% to 30%RH. This is a process that can take between 5 and 72 hours, depending on the degree of hydrolisation.


What we do:

  • We inspect the reel tape.
  • If necessary we will bake the tape to ensure that it can be used safely.
  • Tapes are digitised to 24 bit/96kHz quality, and individual tracks can be split out for easy navigation.
  • Audio files can be written to .WAV files at 24 bit/96Khz quality, or written to CD at 16 bit/44.1Khz.


  • Quality can vary due to the condition of the original tape recording.
  • If you have a large number of Audio Reels, we can look at a bulk order discount for you.
  • Subject to copyright- We will not copy, copyright material. Section 81A of the Copyright Act 1994 does allow you to make a backup copy of an original recording that you own, for personal private use only.

Let us help

Contact us for more information.


When an 'original' is not an original

Are you looking to display collection objects but unable to use (or wish to 'rest') the originals?  
We can help! 

Consider using replicas or facsimiles produced from a digital scan of the originals for display; photos, postcards, prints, maps or letters, miniature or full size copies. 

Facilitate access to your collection by your community without risk to your valuable and fragile originals .

Contact us for more information

Photographic Restoration

Bring your faded or damaged pictures back to life again

Our photographic technicians can digitally restore and enhance your pictures; bringing back the detail thought you had lost forever or never knew you had.

If you have photographs exhibiting:

  • damage
  • fade, or
  • magenta cast

We can recover orginal tones and improve contrast & brightness.

We can also:

  • remove scratches and spots, and
  • 'repair' torn sections

Just supply the original print, whole or in pieces (or the whole photo album if it's easier) and we will quote to undertake the restoration work. We can supply the finished work as a print and/or as a digital file.

Don't let those treasured photographs deteriorate any further, let us restore them to their original condition and improve them for your future generations.

Contact us for more information

Metadata services

Descriptive metadata project management

NZMS offers access to a stable of highly skilled people who are able to work off-site using our own cloud-based crowd-sourced Recollect software to create quality metadata and key search terms that conform to your organisation’s rules, ready for ingestion into any system you are using. We manage your metadata project end-to-end, enabling you to push through the ‘metadata bottleneck’ that can occur in large digitisation projects, when the work required to make material findable can seem overwhelming.

Contact us for more information

Audiovisual Digital Capture


As experts in the digitisation of physical analogue originals we are often asked about digital capture of audiovisual materials.

It has become evident that, while documents with text and images can be kept as originals after digitisation, in the case of audio and video documents, digitisation is often the only viable method for long-term preservation, because, apart from the instability of the medium itself, dedicated replay equipment is rapidly vanishing.

In 2013 UNESCO in Fundamental principles of digitization of documentary heritage stated that the time window left for the replay of audio and video originals might only be 15 years - we are now looking at as little as 10 years before we lose the ability to deal with a large amount of this media, adding urgency to the situation.  

Audiovisual documents must be digitised with appropriate digital resolution, and that capture resolution must equal or exceed the quality of original as, in the long-term, the digital master file will be the only version available.  Film preservation is adopting digitisation out of necessity as manufacture of motion picture film is fading.  As our world moves increasingly towards digital there is a multitude of media which will inevitably become unusable due to it deteriorating or the equipment to play it on becoming obsolete.

We can help


There is a wide range of videoptape formats, both consumer (both home player and handycam) and commercial.  We digitise most types of videotape tapes to Archival standards. Find out more about Videotape Digitisation.

Reel to Reel tapes

There is a range of 1/4" reel to reel tape speeds and we can work with all of them to digitise reel to reel audiotape to Archival standards. Find out more about Reel to Reel tape digitisation.

Compact Audiocassettes

A huge amount of recorded history exists on compact audiocassettes.  We can assist in digitising your audiocassettes to Archival standards. Find out more about Audiocassette digitisation.

Vinyl Records

Many individuals maintain vinyl record collections and these can be digitised for personal use. Find out more about Vinyl Record digitisation.

Motion Picture Film

Many organisations and individuals have a large amount of historical records on 8mm and 16mm film.  We can assist with digitising 8mm and 16mm motion picture film to Archival standards. Find out more about Motion Picture Film digitisation.

Click here to contact us about your audiovisual digitisation

Index cards

“There must be a better way to use Index cards…”
Our transcription services can turn your index cards into databases or spreadsheets you can search through with ease.  This will enable you to retire those marked, dog-eared and torn cards and give you fast sharable access to your index cards collections for the entire team and your users.
Contact us for more information…

ST600-K Kiosk scanner

Looking for an affordable front of house scanning solution?  Look no further than the ST600-K.
The ST600-K Library Book Scanner Kiosk System includes a modern touch screen system and contactless scanner which provides a whole new perspective on digitisation. The simple-to-use kiosk software easily scans newspapers, magazines, documents or books directly without cutting or damaging them, and saves to USB drives, email or the cloud.
It's the perfect solution for public use with a small footprint making it easy to place in any environment. It is so versatile it can scan loose paper, bound material and delicate items, and with great features like continuous scanning through page turning detection, book curve image-flattening, finger removal, OCR and searchable PDF creation your users and staff alike will love it.
For more information please download the flyer, contact NZMS on 0800 NZMS 1990 (0800 6967 1990) or email us.

Slides and negatives

Are you looking for access quality for all those slides and negatives stored away in drawers in the back of your storeroom?  We now have a cost effective solution for you.
We have developed an access package which includes your slides and mount information (allowing transcription) for your website or just the slide image only.  We can also digitise strip negative film into their component images.
Contact us for more information…

Object Photography

We don’t just digitise books, maps and plans. 

We realise there is more to your collections than flat materials.  That’s why we’ve introduced our 3D photography service.

Photographing objects from your collections allows an accurate representation of the whole object without shadows or reflections.  Uses range from access via your website through to images for your insurance.   Objects that in the past have been confined to “view on site only” suddenly take on a new life.

Contact us for more information…

eBook Creation

Give new life to old or damaged books by turning them digital.  View them online, on your tablet, on your eReader.

NZMS offer an eBook creation service with a range of output levels from the straightforward copy to the bespoke re-creation.  Pricing starts from $1 per page but can vary based on the number of pages and level of manual formatting and correction required.  A setup fee will apply to encourage you to do more than one title per batch.

We take all reasonable efforts to minimise inaccuracies. However, the e-books created may contain some text and formatting errors. 

Naturally Copyright permissions will need to be managed if they apply and we can assist you here.

This is a fantastic way to breathe new life into “out-of-print” books responsibly, and a real opportunity for local historians to re-engage your community.

Contact us for more information.

Image Uploader

New Zealand Publications on Microfilm

Microfilm copies of many New Zealand newspaper titles and publications we have filmed are available for purchase. Please contact us for more information or if you would like to make a purchase.

Current titles we have for sale include:

National Publications

New Zealand Methodist Times
New Zealand Woman's Weekly
Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand Archives
The New Zealand Presbyterian
The Christian Observer
The Christian Outlook
The New Zealand Freeman Journal
The New Zealand Wesleyan
The Outlook
The Province
The War Cry
The NZ Expeditionary Force Times (Cairo)
The Listener
The Red Worker

Regional Publications


The Advocate
The Northern Advocate
The Northern Luminary
The Northern Mail
The Northland Tribune
The Bay of Islands Observer


The New Zealand Herald
The Franklin Times
North Shore Times 
North Shore Times Advertiser
Papatoetoe News
The New Zealander
Southern Cross

Waikato / Thames Valley

South Waikato News
The Waikato Independant
Hamilton Press

East Coast

The Gisborne Herald
The Gisborne Standard

Bay of Plenty

Rotorua Review
The Daily Post
Waihi Leader
The Whakatane Beacon


Taranaki Herald
Kaponga Courier
Patea County Mail
The Patea and Waverley Press
Patea Daily Mail
The Opunake Times

Hawkes Bay

The Hawkes Bay Herald-Tribune
Wairoa Star
The Wairoa Free Press
The Wairoa Guardian
The Daily Telegraph


The Wairarapa Times-Age
The Wairarapa Mercury
The Wairarapa Standard


The Dominion
The Evening Post
The War Cry (Salvation Army)


The Marlborough Express
The Marlborough News
The Marlborough Press
The Marlborough Times
Marlborough Various Newspapers

Nelson Bays

The Motueka Star
The Nelson Evening Mail
The Nelson Examiner
Nelson Examiner
Nelson Evening MailCanterbury

The Press
The Sun
The Christchurch Star-Sun
Christchurch Star
The Star-Times
Lyttelton Times
The Weekly Press


The Otago Daily Times
The Otago Witness
The Outlook
The New Zealand Methodist Times
The New Zealand Presbyterian Times
The Christian Outlook
The New Zealand Wesleyan
The Christian Observer
The Advocate

Asian Newspapers on Microfilm

Microfilm copies of many newspaper titles are available for purchase. Please contact us for more information or if you would like to make a purchase.

Current titles we have for sale include:

Chinese Language Papers

(Lian He Zao Bao) 联合早报

Most comprehensive and trusted Chinese information source for Chinese literates. Reflects current issues, commercial interest, lifestyles and trends of the Chinese community locally and globally. Particular strengths are its in-depth understanding of China, focus on SME business scene and a bastion of all things Chinese.

(Lian He Wan Bao) 联合晚报

Wanbao is an upbeat, refreshing Chinese evening daily with an innovative "dual-cover". It offers reader the perfect combination of top news stories from the front cover, strong coverage of health news, plus vibrant hot-topic features and entertainment news from the back page. Whichever cover readers start with, Wanbao always completes their evening with a good read.

(Xin Ming Re Bao) 新民日报

Established in1967, Xin Ming is the Chinese evening daily that brings its loyal readers the latest news in the area of human interest stories and sports coverage. Xin Ming's reports are always brought across in an easy-to-read fashion, coupled with generous use of pictures and visuals.

(Friday Weekly) 星期五周报

Friday Weekly was launched on the 22 February 1991 by Senior Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew (current Minister Mentor). It was published weekly every Friday. Its main target readers are secondary school students and teenagers.

(Thumbs Up) 大拇指

Thumbs Up is a Chinese newspaper published in Singapore for school children. It was launched by Deputy Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong (Current Prime Minister) on 15 January 2000. Most primary schools in Singapore subscribe to the newspaper for their Chinese students, to improve their Chinese language. The newspaper reports both international and local news. There is a section with mock examination questions to help students prepare for examinations. The newspaper also promotes Arts education by featuring art pieces selected by local artistic guides. Mr Tan Swie Hian, a well known local artist, was the first artistic guide for the newspaper. The newspaper also organise Arts workshops and competitions annually. The Arts education sections of the paper is supported and endorsed by the National Arts Council Singapore. The newspaper also has a section for fun and games which features Chinese comics contributed by readers, as well as a weekly cartoon story on the mascot of the paper.

(Nan Yang Shang Bao) 南洋商报  Singapore Version

Nányáng Xīngzhōu) was a newspaper in Singapore that was founded by philanthropist-entrepreneur Tan Kah Kee on 6 September 1923 in Singapore. On 2 May 1971 three senior staff of the newspaper were arrested, accused of "a deliberate campaign to stir up Chinese racial emotions". The newspaper was merged with Sin Chew Jit Poh on 16 March 1983 to form the current Lianhe Zaobao and has ceased to exist.

(Xing Zhou Re Bao) 星洲日报 Singapore Version

Sin Chew Daily is founded on January 15, 1929 by Aw Boon Par (胡文豹) and Aw Boon Haw (胡文虎), founder of the Tiger Balm (虎標萬金油) in Singapore as part of the Star Almagated Newspaper formed by these two philanthropists. [8] The newspaper was suspended between 1942 and 1945. Even after the secession of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965, Sin Chew Daily still operated with its headquarter in Singapore under the management of successors of Aw Brothers. In the early 1970s, to expedite the printing process, Sin Chew daily decided to build a new plant located at its present head office premises in Petaling Jaya. With the setting up of this new plant, other departments such as the news desk, editorial, production and circulation were started. The Petaling Jaya operation became independent from the head office in Singapore. Following the directives from the government on restraining foreigners from controlling the press, the Aw family transferred their ownership of Sin Chew Daily to Lim Kheng Kim in 1982.

Full listing of available titles here.

English Language Papers

The Straits Times

Being a newspaper of choice for 167 years, The Straits Times is the English national flagship newspaper in Singapore. It is the most-read newspaper title in Singapore - 1.25m readers in 2012. ST has been serving Singapore since 1845. It is a national newspaper with a trusted source of news and views on things that matter to its reader, whenever and however they want to read it - in print, online, or on tablets or mobile devices. It has a 167-year commitment to deliver reliable news and credible views on developments in Singapore, and around the world. ST showcases original content from its team of brand-name writers, in Singapore, as well as in its network of bureaus around the world. It has extensive coverage of world news, Asia and Southeast Asia news, home news, sports news, financial news and lifestyle updates. It has several 'Top of the News' pages of the most significant news of the day and focuses on the very best stories that matter to readers, giving them the new sand interpreting how this will affect them.

The Sunday Times

Launched in 1931, The Sunday Times keeps you up-to-date on everything you need to know - latest news, burning issues, hottest lifestyle trends, useful advice, interesting personalities, food cravings, family issues, etc. It boasts the highest readership among Sunday newspapers in Singapore - 1.26m readers in 2012 with a P15+ reach of 31% of the 4.035m population. Some 347,000 copies are sold on average each week, making The Sunday Times the best-selling Sunday newspaper. SUT is the Sunday edition of the ST and is packed with the latest news and features. To add zest to the Sunday reading experience, its stories are presented in bright, lively, vibrant, colourful, more leisurely format and other visual elements. The paper produces in-depth reviews of the events and issues of the past week, as well as insightful commentaries by brand-name writers. SUT now has more hard news in the main section and more leisure news in the sundaylife! section. The front page has a clean design, with bigger blurbs of the must-read stories inside. Its content connects with the interests, aspirations & lifestyle of its readers.

The Business Times

The Business Times is firmly established as Singapore's leading business daily. Published by Singapore Press Holdings, The Business Times reports on corporate and financial news and provides analyses that have an impact on decision-making each business day. In its compact Saturday edition, it also features personal finance, the relaxed side of corporate personalities, lifestyle trends, motoring, health and the arts. Publishes since 1976, it effectively reached PMEBs and the financially savvy and is a key source of business intelligence in Singapore.

The New Paper

At a time when newspapers throughout the world are losing its younger readers, The New Paper remains the most compelling newspaper for young eyeballs. It has the youngest readers among all newspapers with a median age of 37, against the national median of 42. The New Paper, already known for its bold and visual presentation, enhanced its standing internationally with four top awards in 2012.


Focuses on the dynamism and colour of the streets and investigative reports. The News is big on compelling news, hot button issues and talking points. The News puts a human face to Singapore issues through touching real-life stories.

Full listing of available titles here.

Malay & Tamil Newspapers

Berita Harian

Established in 1957, the Malay Daily covers a wide spectrum on topics from politics and sports to culture and religion. It is a paper which speaks with authority and understands the needs and interests of the Malay Community. Berita Harian also provides a platform for the Malay Community to voice their views on issues which concern them. Other highlights include Malay culture and tradition, arts and heritage, family hobbies and leisure.

Berita Minggu (which was revamped on 7th March 2010), is a Sunday edition focusing on lifestyle, teen and family matters and health issues.

Berita Harian and Berita Minggu are the ideal choices to reach out to the Malay community in Singapore.

Tamil Murasu

Tamil Marasu keeps reader, both local and expatriate Indians, informed of the latest within the Indian community and the world. A daily dose of "something for everyone". from students to parents to working professional. Besides being a key channel for updates from India and south Asia, Tamil Marasu serves the local community well by:

  • Providing Local and India breaking news
  • Being a study guide to Tamil language students

Readers keenly follow news on sports (eg. cricket and EPL) and entertainment news from Kollywood.

Full listing of available titles here.

A little bit about Metadata

We can capture the full text content (and more) of digitised items including the contents of manuscripts, journals and books.  We also can capture specific metadata such as author, dates, titles, descriptions, subjective information according to your rule set as well as other references and codes etc.  NZMS will work with you to establish a template for information indexing ensuring that the information that’s important to you is the information you receive.  This extends to non-text originals such as photos, art or ephemera where you may wish to associate information recorded on the reverse, as a caption, or in an associated database or index.

We can customise filenaming by incorporating metadata, for example: ‘/author/book_name/pge001’.  All metadata can usually be transcribed directly from the digitised images which means that there is no extra handling of your precious heritage items.

This is a BIG subject!  Please contact us to discuss it further.

Paper Types

Epsom Premium Lustre.

A quality glossy photographic paper.

This instant drying paper produces vivid, lifelike images that rival those of traditional silver halide prints. Premium Luster Photo Paper delivers highly saturated prints by offering maximum ink coverage. Ideal for greyscale and colour photographs.  Gives wonderful effects to water images such as waterfalls and lake scenes.

Doubleweight Matt Paper

A quality matt heavy weight paper.

Ideal for fine art, photographs, certificates, textiles and posters. Double Weight Matt has a  high-resolution output, the paper is compatible with both dye and pigment ink. Ideal for greyscale and colour photographs and art work.  Give wonderful effects with sepia tones.  Our most popular paper for framed works.

Sihl Quadrasorb Paper

A medium weight matt graphic art paper.  Quadrasorb has a  multi layer coated barrier and a  FastDry surface.  Quadrasorb offers perfect performance for aqueous dye and pigmented inks as well as mild and eco-solvent inks.

It allows prints in vibrant colours even with reduced ink, thus saving expensive ink. Ideal for posters, displays and educational resources which might be handled often.

Sihl Luna Artist Canvas Satin

Luna Artist Canvas Satin  is a single side satin coated double strand Artistic Canvas for high quality graphic art applications. Instant dry, water fast and scratch resistant with excellent dimensional stability. Suitable for stretching over frames. For long term applications NZMS uses of pigment inks and protective sealant.  Canvas does create stunning works.  Ideal for art works and also for large items which need to be scrolled and stored in between display such as Whakapapa and Family Tree scrolls.

Hanhemuhle Photo Rag

A heavy weight matt archival paper.  Hanhemuhle Photo Rag is chosen by photographers to create high quality fine art prints. The fine, smooth surface and feel of Photo Rag make this paper very versatile and it is ideal for printing both black and white and colour photographs and art reproductions with impressive pictorial depth.  Suitable for  Photographic and fine art reproduction complying with highest archival standards, digital art, black & white and colour photography, limited edition prints, presentation prints for display purposes and exhibitions, textiles etc.  Hanhemuhle Photo Rag is a luxury paper.

Epson Stylus Pro 9900 Printer

The Epson Stylus Pro 9900 is a wide format printer which enables large items (A0+) to be printed 1:1.  It provides excellent colour accuracy and is deal for fine art reproductions, facsimiles of maps, plans, certificates, posters and photographs.  Textiles and tapestry captured on the Cruse with depth of field reproduce particularly well.  Clients are often compelled to touch the print it looks so life like.

History of Directories

Directories originated in the late 17th century in France and England. The main purpose was the commercial listings of suppliers of goods and services, to bring buyers and sellers together.

New Zealand Directories began in the 1840's with a page or two in almanacs. An Almanac contained useful information for the year on farming, diaries, custom tariffs, coming events and timetables for the sun, moon, tide, mail and coaches, essential reading for early arrivals to New Zealand. The first directory listings included government officials, officers of associations and societies, officers of the military and professional groups such as clergy, lawyers, doctors, bankers, merchants, teachers, auctioneers and hotel keepers and covered only a few towns.

From the 1850's advertisements were included and occasionally a map of the town. As they expanded an entry would usually consist of the name, occupation and residence of the house owner. 1869 saw the first householder lists for all provincial centers and included many of the smaller towns. The main sections of the business and residential directories were obtained by canvassing house to house. The head of the household was listed, as well as any male lodgers. Woman were included only if they owned property in their own name, (Children working were also excluded)

Government Departments supplied the official information required, e.g. Custom tariffs. Canvassing groups such as Churches & Societies obtained public information.

In 1875 Henry Wise produced the first national postal directory of householders, a directory in its own right.

From the early 1870's to the mid 1950's saw three major publishers of directories in New Zealand, H. Wise & Co. (NZ) Ltd, Stone Son & Co Ltd & Arthur Cleave & Co. Ltd. The cost of producing detailed directories became prohibitive, & began dwindling in the 1950's. These directories have now largely been replaced with easy access to the telephone book, yellow pages & Universal Business Directory.


Canon Lamps and Toner Cartridges

NZMS offer Canon lamps and cartridges at competitive rates.  If you'd like to discuss your requirements please phone our 0800 number or send us an email.

Microfilm Reels & Boxes

Microfilm Reels

We have developed our own 35mm plastic reels to meet our quality requirements. These can be ordered with your logo, or without. Please note there is a one-off cost to set up your logo.

Contact us for more information or to place an order.

1 -100 $1.11
101-1000 $0.97




Microfilm boxes

Our cardboard microfilm boxes are sealed to minimise fibre-shed and are tailored to fit 35mm and 16mm reels.

Contact us for more information or to place an order. Ask us also about Buffered boxes.

1-100 $2.00 POA
101-500 $1.00 POA
501-1000 $0.85 POA
1000+ POA POA

The ‘BIG Rig’

In our constant search for the best possible image quality coupled with handling capability NZMS have developed new digitisation equipment based on medium format cameras to facilitate capturing a bigger area than the SLR-based devices permit.  We also needed a sensor commensurate with the larger “frame” or image area.  We selected a combination of Mamiya camera and PhaseOne digital back.  More importantly NZMS designed and manufactured this digitising rig based on a requirement for portability and ease of re-location (to client sites!); also a suite that could be easily assembled in a small area.  We also sought an extremely colour accurate sensor and lighting system.

Our medium format camera rigs can digitise any object from postage stamp size through to A0.  Any original, be it reflective material such as maps, plans, paintings, books, manuscripts, or transparent originals like negatives, slides or glass plates can be handled with extreme care and digitised to a high-quality 60MegaPixel image. 

 It’s our digitise anything, anywhere, approach to your work!

CS80 Cruse Scanner

The 'Baby' Cruse is one of the overhead or "non-invasive" heritage scanners we operate. It has a book cradle that we designed ourselves. This is cantilevered and adjusts to the size and depth of the text block (and spine width) so that the book is fully supported and the stress on the spine is minimised .

This scanner can accommodate documents slightly larger than A2  (610 x 430mm maximum) and  up to A3 volumes -  scanned as double page spreads.

The "Baby" Cruse is currently located at our Christchurch Office.

SLR-Based Custom Built Camera Rigs

NZMS utilise custom-designed and built digitising tables incorporating Canon EOS 5D MK II SLR cameras and high-CRI LED lighting. These camera rigs can create high-quality digital objects up to 45cm wide (A3+) at 300ppi resolution with very accurate colour rendition.

One advantage of this equipment is their ability to be set up virtually anywhere a  flat surface, darkened room and source of power can be supplied.

Fujitsu 5750 and 6770 Scanners

The Fujitsu f-5750 and fi-6770 are performance desktop scanners that are capable of digitising documents at impressive speeds (90 pages/minute). With their A3 flatbeds we can digitise a wide range of documents such as catalogue cards, pamphlets, photographic prints and letters, that are loose or have been disbound.

These scanners also come with straight-path Automatic Document Feeders which enable them to efficiently digitise large volumes of  'robust or modern' documents. On top of this, they are able to scan paper that is up to 3m long, which enables them to digitise whakapapa, scrolls, electrocardiograms, instrumental data readings and other long documents.

We currently have three of these scanners throughout the country.

Pre Press Scanners

We have four press production scanners which we use mostly  for photographic prints, negatives, transparencies but are also well suited for flat documents. Three of these scanners have a hollow lid which is ideal for glass plate negatives and lantern slides as no pressure is placed on the top of the fragile negative.

They have 15,000 pixels per inch (ppi) resolution for reflective and transmissive originals, feature correlated double-sampling of image data, and provide high-end color (16-bits per color) or greyscale image scanning. Their scanning area for tranparencies is up to 13.8 x 17.9 inches and for reflectives up to 13.8 c 18.5 inches.

These scanners utilise an 8,000 element, trilinear CCD array, with a Maximum density (Dmax) of 4.1 and a density range of 3.9 D. This contrasts with an average scanner which scans an original of up to 8 x 12” @ 600ppi with a Dmax of 2.4. Density range can be thought of as the ability to capture tonal difference, or range of contrast, in the extremes of the image such as shadows and highlights.

Stone’s Directories

When Digital NZ asked people to vote for the content they most wanted digitised the Stone's Directories was one in the Top 10! Comments included:

“Amazing resource for both genealogists and social historians. Includes a street directory, alphabetical and trade directory in one.”
 “There is nothing like Stone's and their directories in this country they give the down to earth feel for business. Yes please digitised and searchable.”

About Stone’s Directories

The directories could be classed as an early form of telephone book and yellow pages. They are separated into well-defined sections, with a comprehensive index at the front and an almanac at the back. They were published for the following regions:

  • Dunedin, Otago and Southland, 1884-1955
  • Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough & Westland, 1899-1955
    (Note, Canterbury included from 1902 only)
  • Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, 1891-1946

Read more about the Directories here.

Text Searchable and NEW! Readable Editions

The text searchable versions of Stone's Directories on CD-ROM were launched in 2008 with the support of the Hocken Collections in Dunedin.  This is an on-going project and we now have a range of  volumes from Dunedin, Otago and Southland; Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Westland; Wellington, Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki digitised, searchable and available on CD Rom.

NEW! We have added a cost effective 'read only' version of the popular Stone's Directories on CD-ROM. These contain all of the same information as the original editions, just in a non-searchable format - excellent for those with budget constraints or who have only a small amount of information to locate.

Digital Capture


Terms & Conditions

We guarantee honesty and integrity in all of our work.


All pricing provided will be in New Zealand dollars and will exclude GST and freight unless otherwise stated.

Terms net 7 days from date of invoice unless otherwise specified.

Quotes are valid for 30 days unless otherwise stated.

We will retain a copy of your data for 30 days, after this time it will be deleted from our records unless you have made arrangements with us prior.

COPYRIGHT - Please note that all responsibility for copyright clearance of the works remains with you.

All quotes are commercial in confidence

Shipping Rates

We invariably charge freight and packing at cost. 

One price for small parcels throughout New Zealand $9.00.

If you have an account with a recognised carrier we can work with you to engage them.

Safety of your material is paramount and we take steps to minimise risk in transit (such as NOT sending over a weekend, appropriate packaging etc).

SMA Scanmaster 1

Our SMA Scanmaster 1 is a versatile scanner for large books, newspapers, photographs, maps, architectural drawings and other documents up to A1. At the heart of the machine is a bookcradle capable of handling small booklets through to very large volumes.

With a unique scan engine the Scanmaster 1 provides high quality images based on state of the art technology. Bitonal, grey scale or color images can be produced with an optical resolution of 600 dpi. Exceptional scan speed and groundbreaking software ensure impressive productivity.

Cruse CS185 Scanner

Our Cruse CS185SL450 Scanner based at HMIF can accommodate an original of up to 1500mm X 1000mm X 100mm high. Its scanning head is rated at 150 Megapixels and it is the only large format ‘heritage’ scanner in New Zealand. Due to its variable-height head we can scan at any resolution between 300ppi and 1100ppi (the smaller the original size the larger resolution we can scan at, up to a maximum size image of 15000 x 10000 pixels). The Cruse scanner uses state-of-the-art computerized focusing rather than ground glass and a focus knob. The elimination of human error guarantees maximum sharpness on all scans.

Pixels on most digital camera backs are 8 microns apart, and most standard lenses will not resolve anywhere that small. As a result, data is not accurately placed on each pixel, consequently lowering the resolution of the scan. Lenses used in Cruse scanners are ultra high resolution and are specially commissioned from Schneider/Kreuznach to address the scanner's unique needs and high resolve down to 5 microns surpassing ordinary copy/photography lenses.

The Cruse scanner uses a patented Synchron™ lighting system, which provides even illumination across the entire surface of the original, while subjecting it to far less light exposure than other methods of illumination. This allows us to use smaller lens apertures for maximum sharpness, while eliminating any glare points or lighting inadequacies.

Our CS185 or "Big Cruse'  scanner is huge, weighing nearly a ton, and we've captured originals up to 30 metres long!

The Gear We Use

Because NZMS specialises in archival digitisation our suite of scanners are absolutely top of the range, as these ensure the best image quality and tonal fidelity.  Cheaper scanners will interpolate (guess) information to reach higher resolutions and may not capture enough tonal range. This is the highlights and shadows which give you high contrast and good legibility.

Cruse CS185 Large Format Scanner

Cruse is considered  the 'Rolls Royce'  of scanners in the museum sector internationally. Our  CS185 with its huge 1 x 1.5 metre scan bed and non-invasive capture is unique in New Zealand .  More about this.

SMA Scanmaster 1

Our SMA Scanmaster 1 is a versatile scanner for large books, newspapers, photographs, maps, architectural drawings and other documents up to A1. More about this.

Cruse CS80

Our CS80 or “Baby” Cruse scanner is located at our Southern Regional Office and can accommodate material up to 610mm x 430mm with a fixed resolution of 300ppi. We use it  principally for scanning manuscripts and bound volumes either above or under glass. The image quality, as is usual for all Cruse scanners, is exceptional. More about this.

Pre-Press Scanners

We have four press production scanners which are used predominantly for photographic prints, negatives, transparencies but are also well suited for flat documents. Three of these scanners have a hollow lid which is ideal for glass plate negatives and lantern slides as no pressure is placed on the top of the fragile negative. More about this.

Fujitsu 5750 and 6770

Our Fujitsu scanners are performance desktop scanners that can digitise disbound or loose documents at an impressive speed.  More about this.

SLR-based custom built camera rigs

NZMS utilise custom-designed and built digitising tables incorporating Canon EOS 5D Mk II SLR cameras. These cameras can digitise at 21MP resolution at sizes up to A3. More about this.

The 'BIG Rig'

Our medium format camera rigs can digitise any object from postage stamp size through to A0. It’s our digitise anything, anywhere, approach to your work! More about this.

Epson Stylus Pro 9900 Printer

Our wide format printer provides excellent colour accuracy and is ideal for fine art reproductions, exhibition printing, and facsimiles of maps, plans, posters and photographs. More about this.

Book & Document Scanners, Printers, Cameras and other equipment

When it comes to choosing the right equipment for the job, NZMS has taken up the challenge of being “the place to come to”.  We offer a full range of scanners, cameras and printers, from the small but practical Epson A4 V700 scanner to the impressively large SMA Double A0+ Map Master XXL flatbed  scanner. Cameras and printers are selected and recommended to suit your individual needs.   NZMS offers training on your new equipment and training is tailored to your requirements and staff experience.


NZMS represents and uses the fine range of SMA book and document scanners, microfilm cameras and COM devices. We are the exclusive New Zealand agents for SMA, a distinguished German firm.

Read about  the:
SMA Scan Master 0
SMA Scan Master 1
MA Scan Master 3


Todays’ most wanted:

The A3 Epson Expression 110000XL with optional transparency module is currently at the top of the most popular scanner list. 


If you need equipment, training or advice, no matter how big or small, just let us know and utilise our expertise.

Microfilm Reader/Scanners

We have a great incentive to find the best scanners on the market – we use them too. Over the years, we have evaluated best-of-breed microfilm reader/scanners and built a relationship with the companies we admire.

ST ViewScan 4

ST Imaging has received Platinum Awards for their products four years in a row, the ST ViewScan 4 is the latest digital microfilm viewer and takes the greatest features from earlier award winning models, combined with modern software and usability to deliver an all new user experience.

The all-new ST ViewScan 4 uses similar features to previous models including the film control keys on the carrier. Plus, its small footprint can be incorporated into any location, from a small office to a vast research room. Its technological updates make it our most efficient viewer to date.

If you already have an ST ViewScan III, it’s easy to take the next step to an ST ViewScan 4 (provided your PC has a USB3 connection) through a simple user-installable camera module and software upgrade.

  • "Finally replaced all the old Canon microfilm readers with ViewScan digital desktop microfilm scanners in the National Library reading rooms. The image quality is way better, virtually no maintenance and they are quiet. It was technically challenging having the ability for the public to use USB sticks while not compromising the security of the Library's network. Manufacturers take note! The staff and researchers are now enjoying the new technology."
    Quote posted on Linkedin by David Adams, National Library

To contact us about the ST ViewScan or arrange a demo contact our team.


Eyecom Microfiche Readers

Eyecom offers a wide range of readers and reader/printers that can be used to view microfiche and microfilm. NZMS are the New Zealand agents for Eyecom products. These offer a low-cost approach to viewing microforms.

You can view the full range of available product on the Eyecom website or for more information; please contact us.


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Whether for exhibition, display, safe keeping, sale or gift, NZMS can take the high resolution digital scans and create vibrant and detailed prints using photographic paper through to Canvas and acid-free watervcolour stock. 

Our wide format Epson printer, software, inks and paper types are chosen with care to ensure quality prints which our customers can enjoy for many years.

NZMS uses high quality inks and paper stocks. Talk to us about what would be best for your project.

For examples of our work see the case studies below.

For Artists and Curators:

Critical colour matching available.  We can work through test strips with you to confirm the most accurate colour profile.  Colour strips and profiles can be stored at NZMS for use on any future prints of work.  We operate a fully calibrated "system" from the original through the scanner sensor, monitors, ambient light, viewing devices and even the walls... connecting across with IT8 colour targets.

For Online Collections

We also provide a print service for on-line digital heritage collections, and can manage the full administration of client orders for prints on your behalf. For example:

This can enable you to offer added value to your community with NZMS doing all the work.  You could also raise funds for future digitisation work by receiving royalties for prints sold.

Consultancy & Training

NZMS can provide expert assistance in establishing your digitisation programme. This can include:

  • Selecting and optimising equipment,
  • Developing standards and procedures, or
  • Tailoring a training course to your needs. 

We have worked with museums and libraries to set up in-house programmes for scanning their collections  including;  training, workflow development, and design of the physical environment.

We also regularly present workshops on  digitisation around the country. At national conferences such as LIANZA and ARANZ and more tailored regional courses for small groups. Further afield, our Managing Director Andy Fenton presented the digital component of a three-day workshop on Records Preservation through Microfilm & Digital Technologies at the National Archives of Singapore (NAS) for several years.

NZMS also has a track record of involvement in imaging standards and have been actively in involved in national and international advisory groups.

Acetate Recovery

Acetate film was used in New Zealand prior to 1985 although some bureaux irresponsibly continued its use as late as the mid 1990’s.  Acetate film was also known as "Safety Film" and replaced the highly combustible nitrate film used up until the early 1950's.  Acetate film is prone to a slow form of chemical deterioration called “Vinegar Syndrome” which causes the film base to shrink, buckle and emit a strong vinegar odour.

If you detect vinegar syndrome in your microfilm collection it is important to isolate the affected films as the fumes released will markedly increase the chances of the other films being “contaminated”.  

TIP: - your photographic collection can suffer from the same malaise - we can help there too.

The only solution to films with vinegar syndrome is to duplicate them onto modern polyester films or at least chill them right down to slow the degradation.  Polyester is a chemically inert plastic that doesn’t break down with time as acetate can.

We are experienced in duplicating acetate microfilm with vinegar syndrome onto polyester film and have specialised equipment for this task.  Please contact us if you have any concerns about your microfilm collection.


No one in New Zealand knows microfilm like we do!  In 2010 Rebekah completed the specialised qualification Certificate IV in Preservation Microfilming.  She is the first person from a commercial microfilm organisation to receive this formal qualification.  Andy peer-reviewed and co-wrote elements of this TAFE (Australia) formal qualification in 2005 and has provided input from New Zealand and Trade interests in microfilm standards since 1996.

Condition Reporting

We can undertake an assessment of your microfilm collections to see if your microforms comply with preservation and ISO Standards; whether they are suitable for digitisation and duplication, or most importantly require reformatting from acetate to polyester to ensure they last "forever".

Disaster Recovery

We can clean and repair microforms and have successfully duplicated films damaged by (river) flood and sprinkler accident.  We can offer assistance with your microfilm collection should you have problems.

Digital Microfilm

Can you guarantee your digital images will be migrated across platforms and formats over the years?  Do you want the ultimate "backup"? 

Microfilming and digitisation can be combined in several ways. Most commonly documents are microfilmed first and digitised from the film (see Microform Scanning for more on this). It is also possible to digitise first and preserve the page images on film using COM (Computer Output Microfilm) technology. COM, or "digital microfilm" is created by copying electronic text or image files onto microfilm. It can be produced as 16 or 35 mm roll film or microfiche.

NZMS has been collating information on “digital microfilm” for many years, patiently waiting for the 35mm-capable devices to offer the functionality and reach the quality levels that NZMS expects for preservation standard microfilm.  We have been formally offering this service since 2011.

NZMS is the only place to go for quality digital microfilm in New Zealand.

Microform Scanning

Microfilm is slow to access, can only be used by one person at a time and are often stored in a single location. Digitising microfilm presents all the options and advantages you would expect from digitised paper records, and you get to keep the ultimate backups as well.  We can work with one frame right through to several million frames and in most file types of images in black and white as well as greyscale format.

We offer three best of breed scanners that provide high volume processing of images from roll film, microfiche, aperture cards and other modes. It’s not just the scanner that delivers the optimal quality: our expert staff can produce quality images from a wide range of source material and are unsurpassed in scanning poor quality microfilms.

We offer a wide range of microfilm scanning services that includes all digital formats:

  • Bi-tonal (black and white) and grayscale scanning of 16mm and 35mm microfilm
  • Bi-tonal and grayscale  scanning of microfiche including COM, and jacketed fiche
  • Bi-tonal and grayscale  scanning of single and double chip aperture cards including automatic reading of Hollerith (punched code) data, and
  • Step and repeat scanning of 35mm and 16mm microfilm, aperture cards and microfiche.

The benefits of digitisation include:

  • Images can be tailored for quick delivery over the Internet or as larger, print-quality files
  • Faster retrieval of information
  • Multiple points of access
  • Improved response time to customer enquiries
  • Minimize security risk around microfilm records
  • Prevent loss of data with IT support via backup
  • Save on unproductive storage within valuable commercial office space
  • Location of misfiled records
  • Collection-wide searching (especially if combined with full document OCR)


This is the process of Duplicating existing Microfilm.  We have an extensive collection of titles that you can purchase on Silver Halide film. 

Your own microfilm?  If you have a collection where the user copies are damaged or lost, we can create new copies from the Master or Negative Intermediate where they exist and rights permit.  We also manage sales of existing film on behalf of clients where they are the rights holder.  Films can be ordered through this website (see Newspapers on Microfilm).  We will process and dispatch the microfilm copies and can invoice the customer direct for you if you wish.

Our Services

Our Microfilming services include:

  • Preparation of the material for filming- Quality Control “QC” checks to ensure completeness and target preparation.
  • Preservation Microfilming on 35mm Silver Halide Master film.
  • Comprehensive frame-by-frame QC of the completed Master film.
  • Silver halide duplicating creating Duplicate Negatives and Copy Positives.
  • All generations of films that we create are inspected to ensure that ISO Standards are met.


  • Deep Tank Processing using Agfa Chemicals.
  • Daily chemistry tests to check for Specific Gravity, Acidity, Density and Contrast.
  • Weekly in-house tests for residual thiosulfate.
  • Monthly Methylene Blue tests to detect residual thiosulfate done by an independent Laboratory.


This is the process of Duplicating existing Microfilm.  We have an extensive collection of titles that you can purchase on Silver Halide film.  If you have a collection where the user copies are damaged or lost, we can create new copies from the Master or Negative Intermediate where they exist and rights permit.

Master film Storage

Best Practice in Record management suggests that copies be stored in different locations, this ensures that in the event of a disaster you will have a copy that should survive.

We can offer the storage of your Master or Duplicate films.

Current & Historical Newspapers

NZMS has preserved on film over 12 MILLION newspaper images (and we estimate there have only been about 30million pages produced to date!).  A significant part of this volume has been commissioned by the National Library of New Zealand, we have undertaken an annual preservation microfilming programme for them since 1995.

We manage modern and retrospective filming programmes for many institutions including public libraries, universities, historical societies and other organisations that want their regional and community newspapers preserved via microfilm.  Libraries can elect to sell analogue or digital copies of the films in order to recoup some of their costs and we can also provide this service.


Preservation Microfilming

  • Techniques associated with the production, handling and use of microforms
  • Creating Microfilm to current ISO Standards that ensures LE ( Life Expectancy) of 500 years

Microform Types

  • Roll film/reel (16/35mm)
  • Microfiche (105mm)
  • Aperture Cards
  • Cartridge based roll film

Microfilm Generations

  • Master (1N)
  • Duplicate Negative (2N) or Negative Intermediate
  • Duplicate Positive (2P) or Positive Intermediate
  • Service Halide Positive (3P) or Copy Positive
  • COM- Computer Output Microfilm or Digital Microfilm

Legacy Microfilming

  • Generally films created before ISO Standards established or implemented. Can be found on Polyester or Acetate

Acetate Breakdown

Darkroom Processing

  • Generic term for silver-gelatin films; a series of steps principally including developing, fixing, washing and drying

Modern Newspapers

  • Papers generally published after 1990


  • Generally bound Books, Diaries, Journals, Serials or loose sheets, varying ink qualities and colours, often have handling issues and varying degrees of conditions

Cine Mode

  • Original document filmed landscape
  • The lower the ratio the better for text legibility, highly suited for retro documents, average frame count for each reel is 500 images.

Comic Mode

  • Original document filmed portrait
  • Suitable for filming of modern papers, filmed at a higher ratio as typeface is generally of good quality and high contrast, average frame count for each reel is over 1000 images


  • Relationship between the dimensions of the original and it's micro image reduction


  • Focus achieved at time of capture, governed by ISO Standards


  • Storage requirements of original documents and all generations of microfilms will determine their Life Expectancy

Planetary Camera

  • Method of microfilming where the document and the film are stationary during capture

Rotary Camera

  • Method of microfilming where the document and film are in synchronised movement during capture


  • Transferring information from one format to another e.g. Acetate film duplicated onto Polyester
  • New generation of polyester film then becomes the PDM (Preservation Duplicate Master)

OCR or Trancription

  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR): convert an image into searchable/editable text using software
  • Transcription: convert an image into searchable/editable text using keyboarding

Microfilming Overview

Microfilm is still the favoured medium for preserving documents such as newspapers, serials and manuscripts. It is reliable, durable, and more importantly IT independent. Microfilm can be easily duplicated and digitised for access. If stored properly it has an expected life of 500 years.

Many institutions combine microfilming with film scanning and OCR as a cost effective way to both preserve and enhance access to brittle and deteriorating print resources.

NZMS are recognised as the industry leader in New Zealand for microfilming and scanning historical and archival documents. Our microfilm is created on high contrast 35 mm silver halide microfilm and conforms to ISO Standards. Our people have regularly contributed to the development and upkeep of national and international standards for imaging technologies since 1996.  NZMS are also Australasian agents for AGFA microfilm and chemicals.

A feature of our service is that the preparation of materials for capture is standard. This includes page by page inspection for print quality and irregularities, plus collation of the latest most complete editions of the title. Internationally this is usually undertaken by the custodian.

More About Transcription

Transcription is the act of copying textual information from a digitised image into another form, usually a document, spread sheet or database. Types of digitised images that could be transcribed might include handwritten documents, index cards, lists, scripts, typed fonts that do not OCR well or simple data like names and addresses.

Double data transcription is a data entry quality control method. In the first pass through a set of records, data keystrokes are entered onto each record as the data entry operator types them.  On the second pass through the batch, an operator at a separate machine enters the same data again.  This information is then either fed through a computer verification program or is checked by a person comparing the two blocks of data.  The verifier compares the second operator's keystrokes with the contents of the record.  If there were no discrepancies the verifier accepts the data. If there are discrepancies between the two blocks of data a choice is made as to which is the best to choose from.  This can be handled by means of strict vocabulary dictionaries, customer-prescribed “rules” or manually by a data operator.  The accuracy for double data transcription should exceed 99.9%.

Single-entry transcription is used in the interest of simplicity. It is usually less expensive than double-entry transcription because it does not require data to be entered twice and then compared.
Expected accuracy will vary depending on the transcription method chosen and the quality of the originals and digitised images.  We recommend a pilot on some “typical” data be undertaken to fine tune cost-estimates and provide evidence of quality expectations.

The real value of NZMS in this process is in the troubleshooting experience we have in this area (significant!) as well as providing a Quality Assurance interface for you.  We welcome your enquiry about improving the discoverability of your material via transcription.

More About OCR

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software converts scanned images of printed or typewritten pages to searchable and editable text.  We use a variety of software tools and have had great results with uncorrected OCR for clients and for the Stones Directories, which we produce for sale.

Our standard OCR services are fully automated where powerful software analyses the digitised images and identifies the text within, avoiding the necessity for operator intervention.

NZMS also offers customised OCR services for more challenging material.  This includes manual zoning of newspaper and journal text (where articles and headlines are not uniformly placed on the page) or isolating of marginalia and extracting abstract information from material.  We also offer the option of part-OCR of material, where specific parts can be OCR’d, eliminating extra costs for converting material that does not aid discovery.  This is particularly useful in Journals and Magazines where advertorial content with artistic fonts is confusing the output.  That said, our OCR systems allow us to "Pattern Train", whereby we "teach" the system how to recognise text of varying fonts in order to improve the accuracy of our conversion.

Not all documents are suited to OCR however - the accuracy level of OCR on handwritten text is very poor and is often not usable.  For documents that are not suited to OCR we offer transcription services ‘data entry’ or ‘keyboarding’ which means that a mix of two typists and a third arbiter or a typist and a verifier type the same information.  This is then compared and any discrepancies are highlighted and rectified.

Overview of Content / Text Conversion

Digitised images can be so much more informative if you can combine them with text content pertinent to them.  Text can be produced from content in the images, by ascribing descriptive metadata or by linking images with your analogue or digital finding aids or other databased information.  This creation of searchable or editable text increases the chances of discovery and assists with sharing information about your images and collections.

There are many ways to undertake content conversion.  NZMS offers content conversion services at various levels from the most basic Optical Character Recognition (OCR) - the creation of a simple PDF using software to recognise text in an image, and not correcting it in any way, through to the most complex: transcription and “marking up” - completely republished and repurposed documents using a combination of keyboarding, software, and marking up into a future-proofed eLanguage (such as the New Zealand Official Yearbooks).

Books or manuscripts (or any other objects with text content) are digitised (scanned) and from there we use software or keyboarding to produce output files in the formats you use - Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Adobe PDF, Text or CSV or a variety of eBook formats.  It’s hard to predict future use, so if you seek flexibility and the ability to re-purpose your content we offer a complete customised Extensible Markup Language (XML) conversion service. 

If you are interested in displaying your data (or images) online then we can build websites or web pages (that fit seamlessly within your existing website) so that you can make your content available to others.

It can be a complicated area - by all means contact us to discuss what's possible with your material.

Content/Text Conversion


Customised Solutions

We can create outstanding images for you but there are many other factors that can go into a digitisation project. 

No two jobs are exactly the same and we tailor our workflow  to the specific requirements you have, whether that relates to:  special handling of irreplaceable items,  file format, image quality & resolution,  file naming, digital repair & touch up,  or document conversion.

For high volume projects we use a range of commercial and in-house software to efficiently process, name and validate files.  However for archival or exhibition quality scans of photographs, paintings and other graphic material  it’s the human factor that is critical and our technicians are skilled at evaluating tonal and colour fidelity. 

Understanding what you want to achieve is also critical and we have worked throughout New Zealand  with community organisations, families, local history associations, publishing and pre press companies, central & local government, iwi, and the GLAM institutions. A large number of our clients come to us because we have the reputation for quality and they trust us to translate their business needs into appropriate image capture and handling specifications.

If you are not sure about the technical specifications for your job we are happy to offer recommendations and show you the options. For larger projects a pilot can be a good way to test and fine tune the outcomes before we start.

Here are some of the solutions we’ve provided for clients that aren’t out of the box:

What we digitise

  • Photographic prints, negatives, slides & transparencies
  • Glass plates & lantern slides
  • Photograph albums
  • Paintings & works of art
  • Maps, plans & scrolls
  • Historical books and publications
  • Manuscripts letters & diaries
  • Modern documents – loose & bound
  • Journals, periodicals & newspapers
  • Card indexes & reference prints
  • Microfilm, fiche & aperture cards
  • Textiles & clothing
  • 3-D Objects
  • Whakapapa
  • Family History Records
  • Clubs & Societies Newsletters & Memorabilia

Digitisation Overview

NZMS has four facilities around New Zealand but we can also work on site if your material cannot be transported .

We have a wide range of high end scanners and digital cameras for your work which means we can offer a range of options on image capture and price.  Uniquely in New Zealand, NZMS has equipment suitable for archival quality scanning from postage stamp size to A0+ (think cards through books through photographs through newspapers through whakapapa).

For bound material we have a suite of book scanners that produce outstanding images either as double page spreads or single pages.  We can also capture fragile books at 120° opening.

For robust documents, or print material that can be disbound, our fast rotary production scanners are a very affordable way to convert collections for online access and digital reuse.

We have many options for digitising photographs and negatives, including high volume through to colour-matched "high-end" reproduction solutions.  So if your negatives are degrading through acetate breakdown (beware that vinegar odour!) or you have photo albums you want copied, or even those "fileprints" in drawers, or you simply want another print of your photos we can help.

Once digitised your material can be converted to searchable/editable text.  Think eBook production or PDF creation, creating a searchable finding aid, database creation from annotations or index cards...  It can also be printed to modest or exacting colour matched standards.

Our experience ranges from small bespoke jobs (eg artwork or manuscript) through to high volume projects (hundreds of thousands).  We welcome enquiries from individuals and institutions about single items through to major projects.  Either way we will give you our expert advice and outstanding service.


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We work closely with our sister company DESKTOP IMAGING which was established in 1997. Their expertise in electronic document management and scanning modern business records complements NZMS’s skills with heritage materials.  

The two companies also share experience in microfilm, microfiche and aperture card scanning.

Why Choose NZMS?

Our clients tell us we are their preferred choice because we

  • Are recognised as New Zealand’s most experienced heritage digitisation & preservation microfilming bureau.
  • Have the best commercial suite of scanners and digital cameras in the country
  • Have the expertise and willingness to tailor our approach to suit our client’s needs
  • Focus on offering a range of digital solutions, from scanning through to hosting of digital collections online
  • Are located throughout New Zealand, with offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch
  • Have a number of staff with extensive GLAM sector experience.
  • Have over 22 years commitment to preserving NZ’s documentary heritage

Above all else, we love nothing more that working on a great project with a fantastic client. We care about our clients and can often be found working out of hours to get everything 'just right'!

At NZMS, we strive

  • to offer the best solution for your business and impartial advice at an honest price. We are constantly investigating new technologies and recommend them when they make sense.
  • to bring our enthusiasm and commitment to every project
  • to listen, to discuss and to advise, ensuring we select the best solution for fit your needs (or point you in the right direction if we are not able to help you ourselves).

Why not give us a call today to find out more about what we have to offer?



  • "Finally replaced all the old Canon microfilm readers with ViewScan digital desktop microfilm scanners in the National Library reading rooms. The image quality is way better, virtually no maintenance and they are quiet. It was technically challenging having the ability for the public to use USB sticks while not compromising the security of the Library's network. Manufacturers take note! The staff and researchers are now enjoying the new technology."
    Quote posted on Linkedin by David Adams, National Library
  • "I confidently recommend the highly professional and exacting standards of the friendly imaging team at N.Z. Micrographic Service who perfectly represented my work and have the record safely stored for future use."
    Beverly Woolcott (Artist)
  • "Micrographics were fantastic to deal with, taking an interest in my project and becoming an important part of the production team. I found them very service focussed, flexible, prompt and clear communicators, and really good at what they do. The success of my project critically depended on image quality and I was delighted with what Micrographics produced. But don't take my word for it, check out a large number of their scans in"
    Peter Alsop

Our Locations

About us

As the name suggests NZMS (New Zealand Micrographic Services Ltd) started as a preservation microfilm bureau and that’s still a big part of our business and our passion.  In 25+ years, we’ve microfilmed over 12 million pages of New Zealand’s national newspaper collection and are industry leaders in the development of microfilming standards.   We’ve also sought out the best equipment on the market for viewing microforms and are NZ agents for the ST View Scan microfilm scanners.

An absolute commitment to image quality and archival standards also underpins our digitisation work.  From our first project in 1997 the Company’s focus has been on providing digitisation solutions for New Zealand’s irreplaceable heritage materials.  Our processes and staff training are built around care of original collections and we’ve invested in equipment that is suitable for fragile items such as glass plate negatives, photographs, albums, manuscripts, bound volumes, textiles, maps, plans & works of art. In 2003 NZMS collaborated with the National Library of New Zealand and Victoria University of Wellington to provide NZ’s only archival option for scanning large format A0+ items to a high resolution.  This facility (HMIF) is now wholly owned by NZMS and located at Archives NZ.

We have always maintained close ties with our clients and have kept pace with changes in their business needs and the technology that is driving it. Recent years have seen a big expansion in our document scanning services and new services for image conversion and text repurposing. This includes OCR, transcription and XML conversion.   We are also committed to offering end to end solutions for clients, recognising that the scanning may only part of the process.  Increasingly the smart use of IT is our point of difference and an outstanding example of this is our leading edge hosting and digital collection software Recollect.

NZMS started as a family operated company in 1990 and now has a permanent staff of 25, with offices in Tawa, Christchurch, Auckland and the Wellington CBD. However we’ve retained our small company friendliness and commitment to delivering the best result for each of our clients.



Our Team

We couldn't do what we do without the great team behind NZMS. Check us out below!


Below you'll find our selection of products. You can filter by category using the menu on the left


If you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch. We'd love to hear from you!



News & Blog




In this section you will find white papers, case studies, and other useful resources to help you with your next project.  If you can't find what you are looking for below, email us to suggest a topic or ask your question.


Welcome to NZMS

New Zealand's most trusted bureau for digitisation of heritage and audiovisual materials, text conversion, microfilming, online hosting and reproductions

We work with libraries, archives, museums, galleries, government agencies, companies, clubs & societies, Iwi and individuals across New Zealand – anyone with heritage items they want to preserve and share through reproduction!  

You may have many different types of records, objects & taonga. If you have a project you’d like to discuss, we’d love to help.

With staff located in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and online, we are able to offer our services and expertise wherever you are.

Museums Aotearoa Conference - Outside Insights 2018

Museums Aotearoa Conference - Outside Insights 2018

Will we see you at the Museums Aotearoa conference this year? NZMS are proud to be sponsoring the MA18 conference, to be held in Christchurch on 20 - 23 May 2018. The conference is being held over several venues across the Christchurch cultural landscape including Canterbury Museum, Christchurch Art Gallery and the Air Force Museum. We love supporting Museums Aotearoa who deliver inspiring and insightful events that develop and bring innovation to the... read more »
A new life for survey maps

A new life for survey maps

A joint project between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Archives New Zealand, Land Information New Zealand, and Environment Canterbury is bringing the original survey plans of Canterbury to life on a new digital platform. During the European settlement of Canterbury in the 19th Century, land was surveyed for the legal purchase and sale of land parcels. The survey maps produced by the early surveyors documented a pre-European landscape... read more »
Digitising Historical Family Trees

Digitising Historical Family Trees

One of the projects we love doing is helping a family capture and preserve their history. Our Wellington team has recently digitised two historical family tree documents for one of our clients, John Christie. The first tree is titled - “William Laddes, of Barham, Hunts” dated June 1915 which includes John’s Grandmother, Phillis Mary and depicts his family history on one large paper document. The second tree... read more »
Pioneering Surveyor John Roddick

Pioneering Surveyor John Roddick

LINZ Surveyor Field Book of the Gisborne area from May 1913. We recently found a photograph in one of the 13,000 Surveyors Field Books we have been digitising. The book was dated May 1913 and has a title on the front cover “476A Gisborne John Roddick May 1913” which is unusual for these field books which are typically titled with only a number on the spine. Our team were captivated by the... read more »
The Power of a Collection Management System

The Power of a Collection Management System

If you work for a museum, gallery, archival institution, library or any industry that is responsible for managing and maintaining a special and significant collection of material, a Collection Management System (CMS) could be beneficial for you.  A comprehensive CMS will let you easily manage all the information about each item in your collection and the overall collection as a whole, ultimately providing you better in-house digital asset management.... read more »
Digitising Illustrations for Gecko Press

Digitising Illustrations for Gecko Press

Throughout the years the NZMS team have digitised many illustrations and artworks for children’s books, reference and New Zealand history books.  The most common material we digitise for children’s picture books are collections of watercolour artworks by talented and creative New Zealand Illustrators, Researchers and Authors. Recently we have been digitising a collection from the highly acclaimed Author and Illustrator Gavin Bishop who has created... read more »
Villa Maria College Celebrates 100 Years in February 2018

Villa Maria College Celebrates 100 Years in February 2018

The Sisters of Mercy purchased the property on which the Villa Maria College is now situated in 1917. The school was opened on 18 February 1918 with 14 pupils enrolled. Villa Maria began serving the district as a parish school when boys were admitted in 1921. When another Catholic school (St Teresa’s) opened later nearby, boys were transferred from Villa and from 1941 the school reverted to being a college for girls. A boarding... read more »
Digitising Past Exhibitions for City Gallery Wellington

Digitising Past Exhibitions for City Gallery Wellington

City Gallery Wellington has spent the past year reviewing their archives which contain ephemera and documents of the Gallery’s history. Our NZMS team in Wellington has digitised these documents which are now being uploaded to the City Gallery website. City Gallery has held many outstanding contemporary exhibitions throughout the decades which have helped push the cultural conversation within the Wellington arts community and for the national and international... read more »
Impressions from NDF Conference 2017

Impressions from NDF Conference 2017

21 and 22 November 2017, Te Papa, Wellington Since 2002 the National Digital Forum (NDF) Conference has benchmarked digital innovation in the Cultural Heritage space in Australasia. And this year’s 16th Annual Conference did not disappoint with an eclectic yet joined up collection of keynote speakers who comfortably interacted with our home grown and Australian talent. At NZMS we are dedicated to leading and growing digital interaction with culture and heritage and... read more »
Recollect Administrator Workshop November 2017

Recollect Administrator Workshop November 2017

Following the NDF Conference last month we hosted a Recollect Administrators Workshop on Thursday 23rd November. With such a large crowd this year of 21 Recollect administrators from 15 diverse organisations, we thoroughly enjoyed the lively discussions. We discussed the future direction for Recollect and all the wonderful ways in which organisations are encouraging their communities to discover, access and engage with their content and history. The NZMS Recollect team reflected on... read more »

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