If the truth be told, much microfilm reproduces terribly. In many cases,
only part of the page was photographed in focus. Compound that with the
variables of the microfilm machine and the idiosyncrasies of the printer and
you have a recipe for faulty photographing or transcription. Copying pages
from The New York Times a few weekends ago at the NYPL, I was repeatedly
frustrated by problems that would not even occur to some one using
hard-copy. From my perch as a history buff, microfilm [notwithstanding its
huge contributions] was adapted before its technology was perfected.

None of which, of course, negates Phil Lord's points that preservation and
access are the key issues, and that funding problems do obstruct utopian

Bill Mac Kay

New York City.