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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.
Currently the Preservation Microfilming unit participates in consortial and commercial microfilm digitization partnerships. One major project is NYPL’s contribution to the National Digital Newspaper Program. In 2005, NYPL began the process of microfilm to digital conversion of its vast historic newspaper collection for long-term access through Chronicling America. The National Digital Newspaper Program is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.