Utilizing a microfilm reader may have become a lost art; however, it is still an essential skill in many office settings. Microfilm continues to be a valuable resource for businesses, individuals and governmental entities across the globe.
Unlike digital formats, which are susceptible to hacking, data degradation and computer malfunction, microfilm can be preserved for as long as 500 years if it is properly stored. Additionally, microfilm equipment continues to be universal, making it competitive against the varying file formats associated with digital data storage.
Thanks to the staying power of the microfilm format, knowing how to operate a microfilm reader is continuing to be a valuable skill. Here is the basic procedure surrounding the operation of a microfilm reader:
- Gather supplies: You will only need two things to view your microfilm: the reel of film itself, and the microfilm reader. This device will most likely need to be plugged into some type of power source, however, such as a wall outlet or battery pack. Once your device is connected, switch the power button to the “on” position.
- Insert the film: After your device is powered up, you will need to open the machine’s glass plate. Some microfilm readers may have a button that opens the plate, while others can simply be lifted manually. Once the plate is raised, you will want to place your reel of film onto the left spindle. Thread the film through the rollers preceding the plate, eventually moving it onto the surface directly under the plate. Maneuver the end of the film into the rollers and reel on the right side of the reader, and begin to advance the film using the appropriate knobs.
- Get into focus: After securing the film onto both spools, close the glass plate and begin to advance the film. Once an image is visible in the viewfinder, it’s time to bring it into focus. Some film may need to be rotated to be viewed properly, which can easily be done using the reader’s rotation knob. The magnifying lenses present in the viewfinder should allow you to easily focus in on the image until it is crisp and clear. Continue adjusting the magnifiers until you can confidently see the entire image.
- Navigating the film: Explore the images on your reel by using the manual knobs, or the “forward” and “fast-forward” buttons. Most microfilm readers are equipped with these electric buttons, which will quickly shuffle through the reel until you have found the document that you’re looking for. Once you are finished viewing your reel, utilize the microfilm reader’s “rewind” button to return the entirety of the film to its original position.
Microfilm readers and other forms of microfilm equipment can all be obtained from the experts at Microfilm Equipment and Supplies Inc. We have been the premier supplier of microfilm gear in the communities in Illinois and elsewhere since 1982. To learn more about the services and supplies that we offer, contact one of our friendly staff members today!
Categorised in: Microfilm Reader
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