|Brian Irby, archival assistant, demonstrates using microfilm at the Arkansas |
State Archives. The microfilm scanner is similar to the new scanners being installed.
“The Arkansas State Archives seeks to make its material more readily accessible – that includes having equipment that encourages and enhances the research experience,” said Dr. Wendy Richter, state historian and director of the State Archives. “I think our patrons will be very impressed with the improvements.”
Five new microfilm scanners will be installed in the main research room in Little Rock, and two more will go in the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives in Powhatan and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Washington. The new scanners will improve photocopy quality from microfilm and meet the increased demand for copies from patrons. The microfilm scanners will also allow patrons to save digital images of the microfilm.
“These equipment upgrades allow us to stay relevant to our patrons,” said Lauren Jarvis, public services manager.
The new scanners will allow users to clean up or manipulate the film image to get a cleaner and easier-to-read copy. The large, 34-inch monitors will make viewing material easier, especially for people doing extensive research using the microfilm collection, Jarvis said. More tables will be going in the Research Room to create more work stations for the microfilm scanners.
New staff member Wesley Oliver uses
one of the new Epson Expression
12000XL Photo Scanners that are being
installed at the Arkansas State Archives.
The new digital microfilm scanners and other equipment have mostly been funded through grants from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council. Staff plan to finish installing the new equipment by the end of August.
The upgrades were needed, Dr. Richter said, because some equipment had not been upgraded in about 10 years and was becoming difficult to maintain and troublesome to operate. Patrons have occasionally complained that a few rolls of microfilm are difficult to read or to get a good copy of on the current microfilm readers. However, the new digital readers will allow staff to address those issues, including microfilm that is too dark.
“This new equipment is something we are very excited about because we know it will improve the research experience for our patrons,” Dr. Richter said.