Microfilm readers - on the cheap
October 2, 2013 11:22 AM   Subscribe

A friend works for a not-for-profit archive, that needs to replace microfilm reader printers and microfilm scanners, for not much money/free.

They need to get the new machines as a donation or are hoping to buy an affordable used one off of a local company that no longer needs it. I know the person is in the process of reaching out to Universities and Libraries and other archives, was wondering if anyone had any suggestions of businesses in the Southern Ontario area that might be good to contact?

This is a statement from my friend about the archive: "We are a non-profit organization that advocates more liberal access to archival collections, and a recognition that freedom of information laws should be exactly that. We have an extensive and growing microfilm collection and in order to keep these documents available to the public we are in need of microfilm reader printers and microfilm scanners."

If you need more details on what the archive is/does etc. please feel free to memail me.

posted by devonia to Technology (3 answers total)
This seems to be a thing, especially among libraries.

Here's an example of a bid from Alvarado, TX.

You can buy them anywhere from $695 to $6,000 on the Internet.

Utilities or any place that would have had such records 'back in the day' might be a good place to start. Gas, Hydro, Phone companies.

Perhaps they can do a special fund raising deal to purchase one, since I'm not seeing anyone out there saying, "Free to good home, one Microfilm reader."
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:15 PM on October 2, 2013

You might try doing a Google search for university webpages that mention getting new microfilm scanners in the last year or so-- when we got ours last spring, we put it out on the library's blog and social media (and we did in fact rotate out the oldest of the old machines to a new home, so they would be likely candidates.) The only thing is that our new machine is amazing. (It's from the same company as the Alvarado page.) The quality of doing research on it vs. our older scanners is incredible and frankly, the ability to easily create cleaned-up, edited pdf documents (like being able to brighten select pictures from old newspapers to see details) over merely printing out single sheets is something that would probably be of greater long-term use for your friend's non-profit. The older one that we had only interfaced with a printer using a system that was hard to support and fraught with difficulty; the upkeep and maintenance of an older system is an on-going cost that they should talk about with local libraries as well. Are there any grants or other local archives that they could work with-- maybe a cost-sharing initiative of some kind?
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:56 PM on October 2, 2013

Paging sonascope, sonascope to the green courtesy phone, please!
posted by wenestvedt at 7:38 PM on October 2, 2013

« Older Fatty, fiber-full, and filling foods   |   Looking for a sane file storage/versioning system Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.