Delivering bespoke scanning and software solutions for the US Marine Corps

Building a custom server solution and scanning over 200,000 sheets of microfilm for the United States Marine Corps

Delivering bespoke scanning and software solutions for the US Marine Corps
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MSI Team
May 10, 2022

Project at a glance

sheets of microfilm
year on-site project
terabytes of data


  • Document scanning
  • Metadata processing
  • Custom-server solution

Situation Overview

Following the discovery of water contamination at Camp Lejeune, MSI aided the US Marine Corps (USMC) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to identify affected Marines that were eligible for care.

The site operated using Muster Reports, logs that registered personnel on base tracked their locations and tasks daily.

With veterans calling in constantly to get proof of their whereabouts and determine their eligibility for care, accuracy and speed were critical. However, the Muster Reports were stored on more than 11,000 rolls of decaying microfilm and 158,000 sheets of microfiche, spanning 1948-2005.

Our Solution

We began processing the entire collection, with the first stage involving digitizing more than 69 million images. The deliverable eventually totaled more than 200 terabytes of data based on a petabyte of scanning, installing massive server capacity on-site throughout a 2.5-year scanning process that was one of the largest completed by MSI.

But completing the task would be more complex. A search and retrieval method would be necessary to locate veterans by their military ID number. Our goal was for anyone to be able to enter their ID number and for every image containing this number to appear. We built the USMC a custom software solution to achieve this, using optical character recognition on each of those 69 million images to make them full-text searchable and deliver veterans proof of their whereabouts.

Over three years and multiple project phases, the server system we installed is still used for requests relating to Camp Lejeune’s contamination. The public records from the scanning process have also made their way to the National Archives and Records Administration, which has helped with several ancestry requests.

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MSI: Information Management Solutions

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