Actually, it's more a case of operator error.  I worked for a
microfilming company back when it was new.  You had to really be
careful of your light.  Come to think of it, those early cameras
had no way to change the focus.  Anyway, if the light was too
strong the page would be washed out.  Something I've seen a lot

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----- Original Message -----
From: "William MacKay" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2000 10:50 AM
Subject: microfilm quality

> 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
> frustrated by problems that would not even occur to some one
> hard-copy. From my perch as a history buff, microfilm
[notwithstanding its
> huge contributions] was adapted before its technology was
> 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
> solutions.
> Bill Mac Kay
> New York City.