I posted the question below to the listserv on October 8th


Has anyone out there switched their traditional microfilm to digital microfilm?  We are considering doing this for 3 newspaper titles (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) using ProQuest's Digital Microfilm.


What do your users think?

What problems have you encountered?

Are there other similar products?



I received several requests to post a summary back to the list.  So, hear goes…




Most libraries are the process of deciding whether or not to make the switch.  Below is a summary of pros/cons based on feedback from this list and feedback from my library.  This summary is limited to Proquest’s Digital Microfilm product.



**No MF equipment required

**Accessible from any computer with Internet access

**Multiple, simultaneous users

**Print, crop, email, save images

**Perpetual Access to years paid for



**Extra $$$ (5% more than traditional film)

**Interface clunky & slow

**Not keyword searchable, must know title, issue, date, page

**A transitional format?

**No usage statistics

**Doesn’t work well with SFX.  Can link to main page, but not individual newspaper titles or articles

**If canceled, receive content on DVDs.


There were some concerns about the Tasini decision.  The Proquest rep I am working with clarified that it is not an issue with their product.  “Digital Microfilm is created from the film, therefore the entire paper is represented.  You will have the ability to crop, resize the articles.  So, yes you can 'technically' manipulate the paper.  Our rights and permissions dept has worked through legal issues with each individual newspapers.  With that in mind, I would treat the Digital Microfilm in a similar fashion as the paper or film copies of the paper as they fall under 'fair use'.” 



Mindy King, MLIS  MBA

Serials/Reference & Instruction Librarian, Assistant Professor

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Library

900 Reserve Street

Stevens Point, WI  54481