The main focus of the microfilming effort at NYPL is to preserve the intellectual content of a wide range of at-risk and high-value collection materials such as newspapers, serials, manuscripts, and other special collections onto preservation microfilm. At times printed facsimile copies of original deteriorated collection items are needed and “preservation photocopies” are made for this purpose.
Staff in the Preservation Microfilming unit capture information contained in printed library materials by photographing the items and producing durable, high quality films that extend the public’s long-term access to these materials. NYPL’s in-house microfilm laboratory adheres to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Research Libraries Group (RLG) best practices for microfilming production, duplication and storage. The microfilm created at the Library is produced and stored in compliance with industry standards and best practices, and will endure as serviceable resources for hundreds of years to come.
The Preservation Microfilming program supports Library curatorial requests for original and duplicate microfilm. It also duplicates existing collection material on microfilm requested by the public. Public requests can be made through the Photographic Services and Permissions
Newspapers are especially at risk to deterioration as they are usually printed on paper that is highly acidic, which tends to age rapidly and becomes discolored and brittle. The Library’s Microfilming unit participated in the U.S. Newspaper Program
, a long-term cooperative national effort to locate, catalog, and preserve on microfilm U.S.-published newspapers from the eighteenth century to the present. NYPL is a national newspaper repository and has microfilmed two million pages and cataloged 7,000 titles with $1,020,745 in support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.