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Re: Value of Microforms David Goodman 13 Dec 1999 19:44 UTC

This is an argument--and a good one--for image based archiving, not for
continued use of microfilm.

There has been some strong criticism of my view that microfilm is an
obsolete technique. I should have been more specific: Microfilm for
distribution of materials is an obsolete technique, and should be changed
to electronic as soon as possible. Users hate microfilm and love
e-journals. For long term archiving, electronic has only potential, not
yet developed and proven. I agree that no long term archiving project
can yet rely only on electronic without paper or microfilm backup. The
technology is present to use it for better than that--the problem is the

Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 11:31:16 -0600
Naomi Young <> wrote:

> Most current electronic newspaper and journal archives are text-based,
> not image based. Researchers will still have the words and
> intellectual content of the original item, but will lack contexual
> information such as the placement of the item; size and style of
> headlines and other graphics; and the presence, placement, and content
> of nearby advertising. Indeed, for some researchers, the advertising
> is the *primary focus* of study. It seems unfortunate at best that,
> just as popular culture studies are gaining legitimacy, we are busily
> planning to undercut much of their primary source material by
> replacing a rich context with a plain-text interface.
> Naomi Kietzke Young * Periodicals/Microforms Librarian
> Southern Methodist University * PO Box 750135
> Dallas, TX 75275 * (214) 768-2759
> "Bother," said Pooh, "Eeyore, ready two photon torpedoes and lock
> phasers on the Heffalump. Piglet, meet me in transporter room three.
> Christopher Robin, you have the bridge."

David Goodman
Biology Librarian, and
Co-Chair, Electronic Journals Task Force
Princeton University Library
phone: 609-258-3235            fax: 609-258-2627