(Previous discussion continued)
Re: Storing microfilm Mary Massey 02 May 2006 13:45 UTC

Re: Storing microfilm Mary Massey 02 May 2006 13:45 UTC

We house our microfilm in cabinets also. We have some traditional cabinets
and we have a new "archway" type that have drawers which pull toward the
center of the walkway and read top to bottom. Since our periodicals are
alphabetically arranged, we do the same for our microfilm. We will be adding
some notes on our journal shelves to indicate when microfilm is part of the
run of holdings, so patrons will be cued to look elsewhere for more formats
of the same title. It does keep the film pretty dust free to house them in
cabinets. Do be sure that rubber bands are not on film. Other places I have
worked have had evidence of chemical reactions between the bands and film,
some making it inevitable to order new film. When I arrived in August at
ERAU, the crew was already pulling rubber bands from the film as I had
suggested at my interview. There are acid-free strips to hold the film in
place, or you can go without anything. Some places I have worked have used
the boxes which are a pain to house and use without deterioration, or placed
on open shelves where they are subject to mold, dust and other particulates
- upkeep is not friendly. Here, we go through the film cabinets a couple of
times a year to spot troubles (e.g. torn boxes, damp housing, stray rubber
bands, improper reshelving, etc.). LC recommends cleaning of the film every
three years, but this has been a problem staff-wise for all of the places I
have worked. I am hoping to do a cleaning project here next year after this
year's weeding project. I am checking into necessary equipment and staff

BTW, in doing some background reading for our weeding project, I ran across
a chapter called "Development and management of microform serial
collections," which is concisely covered on p.19-26 of Serials Collection
Development : Choices and Strategies, edited by Sul H. Lee. It is a Pierian
Press publication from 1981. Don't laugh about the age of the material,
because the technology hasn't changed much over the years and this material
covers the basics of your question. I'm sure there are other books devoted
to microform collections that would be more in depth, but this can give you
some quick answers. Good luck on the decisions.

Tinker Massey
Serials Librarian
Hunt Library
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
[mailto:SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Lucy Crews
Sent: Monday, May 01, 2006 4:56 PM
Subject: [SERIALST] Storing microfilm

We have had over 1000 reels of microfilm added through a history grant over
the last two years.

Initially we put them on the shelves alphabetical by title as all other
serials are currently arranged in our room. However,
we have these particular films barcoded and a call number assigned so they
can be scanned into in-house use before
reshelving, thus allowing us stats on this collection.

I am in the process of purchasing storage boxes that hold 5 or 8 reels of
film, so that titles with multiple pieces can be
boxed and stored more neatly on the shelves.  I have two debates going with
other staff :

1. Leave the title arrangement or rearrange by call number.  ( We do have
students who wonder why the film is not by call number
since there is one in the catalog. )

2. If we rearrange by call number, would it make since to put multiple
titles in a storage box ?  We have many titles that have only
one reel, or just two.  Rather than have so many loose reels I wanted to
combine a range of call numbers in a box.  That way
everything is in a box on the shelves.  (Easier for moving and cleaning

What are others doing ?  How are microfilm collections stored in your
library ?  Have you encountered problems with any of the above
methods ?

Thanks for your input.  Your advice is appreciated.

Lucy A. Crews
Catalog / Serials Librarian
Grafton Library
Mary Baldwin College
Staunton, Virginia   24401
Ph : 540-887-7088
Fax : 540-887-7297

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