Microfilm…Back to the Future!

Wise words from Jan Ferrari at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.  A key passage:

“Microfilm is known as a preservation strategy in an eye-readable format that can be digitized multiple times, if needed.  It is also a useful way to protect vital records with a secure backup copy in a remote location.”

The article goes on to explore some of the unrealized costs in managing preservation-level digitization programs including the ongoing monetary outlay for hardware, software and staff not to mention managing multiple versions of TIFFs, derivatives and tracking the backups of those versions.  The article continues with a “Which format is better section?” (yes, it is not definitive).  It concludes with an excellent cost comparison for producing and storing 1,000,000 images for fifty years in paper, microfilm and two digital format assumptions.