Digital Access to Microform Resources:
A Proposal to Enhance the Libraries Infrastructure

January 2001


Library users expect to be able to make hard copies of our microfilm resources. In the future, they will also expect to make digital copies of these resources for their scholarly research. In addition, the libraries need to make materials from the libraries vast microform collections available for electronic reserves, interlibrary loan, and other special projects. To be cost-effective, the libraries need to share these resources with each other.

Our newest microfilm reader/printers are almost 10 years old. Our reader/printer hardware is now woefully inadequate to provide the necessary prints that our students and faculty need. The lack of quality microfilm reading and printing in all of our libraries is increasingly disruptive to scholarly processes. The libraries should be providing the best equipment possible to enhance access to our microfilm resources.

This proposal will improve and enhance the availability of Rutgers University Libraries microform collections. It will allow us to replace antiquated analog microform reader printers, build a digital document delivery network among our libraries, and utilize the delivery of digitized microform resources to user desktops. Digitally scanned images can be readily conveyed to remote users via email systems and can also be uploaded onto the Internet. This proposal advances the goals we have described A Bridge to the Future: the Rutgers Digital Library Initiative.

The implementation of this proposal will provide us with microfilm reader/printers that read and digitize microfilm images that can then be printed by the user. These images may also be downloaded to a floppy disk or burned to a CD that can be taken away by the user. More importantly, they can be stored on the Libraries servers. The enhancement of the possibilities for distribution will have great impact on both university and community research endeavors. Some of the possibilities include:

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