November 19, 2011 7:13:00 PM
The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library can now offer its patrons a new microfilm machine that boasts modern conveniences. The Canon Microfilm Scanner 300 II is connected to a computer that allows users to scan documents from the microfilm machine onto the desktop PC and either save the images to a flash drive or email them to another computer at no cost to the researcher.
The microfilm machine is designed to accommodate microfilm or microfiche, two forms of microform. Microform is film containing micro-reproductions of documents for transmission, storage, reading, and printing. Microform images are commonly reduced to about one twenty-fifth of the original document size.
This new microfilm machine was made possible through a gift from an anonymous donor.
Archivist Mona K. Vance said, "This is a giant leap forward in the library's ability to provide access to historical documents for our patrons. Genealogists, historians and students alike are thrilled about the ability to either email or save documents onto their flash drives and take the information with them wherever they go."
The library continues to utilize microfilm as a method of document preservation because it is considered a standard in the archival and preservation fields due to its reliability and practicality. Microfilm, unlike items that are digitized and online, is the product of a nearly static, tested technology that is governed by carefully crafted national standards. According to the Northeast Document Conservation Center, when created and stored according to these standards, microfilm boasts a life expectancy of more than 500 years.
For more information on document preservation visit the Northeast Document Conservation Center at nedcc.org/home.php.