• Monique Gaddy

Microfilm - Archiving Awesomeness!


image of colorful rolls of film

What is Microfilm? What is Microform?

Ah, microfilm, the archivists dream. Microfilm has the ability to take incredible amounts of information and put it into a form that fits easily into storage and takes a small amount of effort to view, print, and share. According to this very helpful blog, microfilm has been around since 1839 and was invented by John Dancer. It was later used to help with the transmission of information with the help of carrier pigeons. Microfilm is a way to preserve a lot of information on a small scale so that it can be stored with little to no maintenance. The technology used to view the information is also low maintenance and can be done independently and easily with the right training.


Microfilm is a type of microform, and microform has been used in various ways to store information throughout time. A lot of library patrons remember microfiche (which perhaps some libraries still use) but is no longer used at Caldwell Public Library. Other types of microform are: aperture cards, flat film, and ultrafiche. Want to learn more about the different types of microform and how it has been used for library archiving? Check out this extremely informative article from the American Library Association!

One special mention of microform is stereoscope form, which was very popular in the 1950's and known widely from the toy by the name of View-Master. The history of View-Master is so interesting, including some of the brilliant business moves made by Sawyer's, Inc. Other interesting information you can find on stereoscope is The World War through the stereoscope a visualized, vitalized history of the greatest conflict of all the ages, available through