Do you or your local society or does the local library have a collection of microfilms? These films are great for long-term preservation of information but are you aware that microfilms do not last forever? Also, the life expectancy of microfilms and microfiche will be shortened significantly if they are not stored correctly.
A recent article by Dave Westcott published in the The Crowley Company website describes the problems and offers solutions. As he writes:
“… most collection managers and archivists could not have provided the required [storage] conditions.”
Referring to past storage conditions, he writes:
“Unknown to the microfilm community at the time, temperature and humidity fluctuations were slowly destroying the quality and integrity of their microforms.
“More specifically, cycling temperature and/or relative humidity within a facility could (and can) be particularly damaging to microfilms. Such fluctuations cause stress in the film and can lead to warping of the base materials and flaking of the emulsions by promoting the movement of moisture in and out of the film media, breaking down the binder that holds the final image material to the support.
“The sad outcome of the past 80 years of creating microforms is that a large percentage of the films generated from the mid-1930s to today continue to deteriorate at an alarming rate and are at risk of permanent loss. Fortunately, there are a number of options for identifying, rescuing and preserving deteriorating microfilms. Like other technical solutions, it’s important to recognize that no one solution fits every need.”
You can read a lot more at https://www.wwl.co.uk/case-studies/white-paper-dealing-aging-deteriorating-microfilm-collections.