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April 15, 2007

(+) Microfilm or Digital?

Warning: This article contains personal opinions.

I was surprised and a bit dismayed this week when I read about the discovery of a lot of old records at a county courthouse. Local archivists spent thousands of hours sorting, filing, and organizing the documents. They repaired damaged documents and worked hard to preserve all the documents for examination by future historians, genealogists, social scientists, deed searchers, and others.

Such efforts are commendable. A handful of people labored intensely so that many others will be served in the future. Then I read one more line: the archivists also microfilmed the records. Microfilmed? My heart sunk. Hey folks, this is the twenty-first century!

Microfilm is so "nineteen eighties." Today we have better and cheaper methods that will serve many more people.

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