Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Techno Tuesday - Capturing Microfilm Images

In the Family History Center I use on a regular basis, the only film reader with a printer no longer works. With the advent of digitized images, these readers and their printers may never be repaired. Although ancestry.com and familysearch.com are working hard to digitize all records, there are still many occasions when we will need to resort to the old fashioned microfilm. Without a working printer, how can I take home a copy of the image I need?

In the FHC I volunteer at, we recommend taking a photo with your phone or digital camera. While not perfect at least you have a copy of the image. A couple of years ago, I heard that placing a sheet of pale yellow or pale blue paper over the image would reduce the glare. It works ok but the paper is a little too opaque. I had also heard that cellophane serves the same purpose. Last week I stopped at the Dollar Tree store and picked up a roll of cellophane used to wrap Easter baskets. I didn't find any yellow but I did find a light green roll. I cut a single layer to fit a standard page protector. Placing the cellophane and sheet protector over the image, I have tested the proceedure. I got a satisfactory image. I have found that the cellophane reduces the glare from the projector and turning off the flash helps. This should also help with the micro fiche readers. Time to check out the 1/2 price after Easter sales for cellophane.