Re: [Videolib] Future of microfilm ("")
Sat, 15 Oct 2005 14:10:45 +0000

These are the sort of questions that made me an avid futurist 35 years
ago. FM radio was going to put AM out of business. We would all get our
newspapers on microfiche by 1980. Cable TV would put theaters out of
business et al.

In the 1950s NASA carefully preserved all the research telemetry data
it got back from the Explorer and Vanguard satellites on magnetic
computer tapes. During the 1960s when researchers needed data on the
radiation belt to help design the first space capsules it couldn't use
the data because the last computer that could read the tapes had been
scraped. NASA had to send up a whole new series of satellites in the
60s doing the same data collection all over again . . .

Oh, and in all fairness Glenda, Becky quoted her director as saying
"everything was going digital" not going to the web. A big difference.
The fact is digital conversion is the current administrative magic
bullet for data and image storage. In many cases, the powers that be
dictate digital storage conversion with little understanding of
preservation standards and without a thought to consulting an archive
librarian on the decision. I suspect tons of data and reference
documents will be lost once they are converted to digital and the paper
originals are either destroyed or relegated to "indifferent storage"
conditions and eventually fall apart.

As another avenue to gather information on this issue I would call the
BYU Genealogy Library in Salt Lake City and ask to talk to someone in
their digital conversion section. They have done a massive job of
converting acres of micro forms to digital for easier access. I would
ask them how they store the originals and the micro form versions . . .

Just a thought, I could be wrong . . .

ML Richie

Quoting "Tatar, Becky" <>:

> Hello, all.
> A little bit away from video. We need to purchase some new microfilm
> reader printers and do have the equipment chosen. However, now our
> director would like information on the future of microfilm since
> everything is going digital. Our ASD head remembers seeing something
> online, possibly in a British source that said microfilm is going to be
> around for a long time, long after the digital material has
> deteriorated. The article actually had someone holding up a cunieform
> tablet saying that the tablet would last longer than digitization. Does
> this sound familiar to anyone? These reader printers we want are state
> of the art - clear and clean up fuzzy and faint film, and more. Thanks
> in advance.
> Becky Tatar
> Periodicals/Audiovisuals
> Aurora Public Library
> 1 E. Benton Street
> Aurora, IL 60505
> Phone: 630-264-4100
> FAX: 630-896-3209

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