The Western History and Genealogy Department (WHG) and Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library at the Denver Public Library are pleased to announce the arrival of seven, state-of-the-art, ST View Scan III microfilm readers. These new machines are major improvements over their predecessors, which were acquired by the Library back in 2010.
Of course many people reading this blog are probably wondering, "Why the heck does the Denver Public Library even need microfilm readers in the first place? Aren't all these old newspapers available online?"
Well, you might be surprised to find that many (even most) historic newspapers have not yet been digitized in their entirety. Two prime examples are the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News which, besides being on microfilm, are available via America's Newspapers database. The problem? This database holds only a short run of both newspapers (Denver Post: 1989 to the present; Rocky Mountain News: 1989-2009). As a result, our microfilm readers see near constant use from researchers of all stripes.
Fortunately, WHG has a complete run of both of the major Denver newspapers on durable microfilm. WHG microfilm holdings also include many other Denver and Colorado newspapers, including the Denver Star and Denver Daily Times.
For our researchers, this means that the news of the past is readily available and, thanks to our new microfilm readers, accessing it is even easier than ever.
The ST View Scan IIIs are easy to use and produce bright, clear images that bring life to even some of our oldest and most difficult-to-read microfilms.
If you're planning to spend some time with our microfilm collections on your next visit to WHG, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind. For starters, we understand that most of our visitors don't use microfilm readers very often (if ever), and we're more than happy to walk you through the basics of using the new machines.
Our visitors should also know that these new machines are capable of saving both digital and printed images. So go ahead and bring your USB drive if you want to save them digitally, or cash or a credit/debit card if you would prefer hard copies (they're just $0.10 a page).
For those folks who are looking to print out pages from historic newspapers that might be suitable for framing...we have some bad news. While the prints and digital scans you'll pull from the ST View Scan IIIs are a perfect quality for research, they're not art quality images.
The new ST View Scan III microfilm readers are ready to go and are available for use during regular library hours.
That is wonderful news. Every year, I dig through microfilm while researching the annual Colorado Inside Out, Time Machine shows. The old scanners were difficult to use and almost impossible to scan an entire page. I look forward to the chance to try the new ones.
We think you'll really like the new machines and we'll look forward to your next visit!
I cherish the "time machine" shows on Colorado Inside Out! Dominic Dezzutti, Patty Calhoun, et al. in costume and masquerading as historical figures is a highlight of the CIO year for me.
I am glad your work has eased for the preparation of this annual romp. I have pored over microfilm when I was an undergrad at UC Denver studying Denver and Colorado history in the late 1970s, and I appreciate the difficulties.
Hi Judith - Thanks for the comments. Microfilm is a strange and wonderful format that just seems to stay relevant. We hope you'll stop by one day and check out much (and how little) this format has changed over the years!
I have micro film military records that I need to make copies of. Can I bring my own microfilm and use the library readers??