Lynn McCleary and other members of the Muscatine County Genealogical Society aren’t about to permit a brittle celluloid connection to Muscatine’s past to snap. 44 spools of Muscatine Journal microfilm, dating back to 1840, have been converted to digital versions for preservation purposes.
Microfilm, which is stored on spools that contain page after page of historical documents, is more prone to tear as it ages, said Bobby Fiedler, the library’s assistant director. “The microfilm is used a lot, and that’s when it starts to tear,” McCleary said. “Our concern is one day it will no longer be usable. It is a precious thing to have preserved.”
The new CD-ROM version will will last forever, at least in theory. If they do start to wear or become obsolete for some other reason, the images on CD can be copied to new media much more easily than can torn microfilm.
You can read more in an article by Mike Ferguson in the Muscatine Journal at http://goo.gl/yCbsK.
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