Sunday, April 30, 2017

Resources at the library : the microfilm reader

The Wagga Wagga City Library has a collection of  Wagga and district newspapers on microfilm. If you've ever wondered how it works, here is a brief guide to using the microfilm reader.

The films and reader are located near the lift - all the films are kept in draws so it's easy to find the year you would like to research.

Find the reel you want and take it to the microfilm reader desk. You'll need to have your library card to log onto the computer in order to use the reader. Don't forget if you haven't a library card, you can apply for a card online - fill out the form and submit, then bring your ID to the library desk and collect your new card. If you're from out of town, or not in our library area, you can buy a visitor card to access the reader.

If this is your first time using the microfilm reader, ask one of our friendly staff to help you loop the film onto the reader, and give you a demo of how it works. There are picture instructions on the reader itself to remind you of which way the film fits on the reader.

Once you have the film looped on and the reader software open on the computer screen, you can adjust the contrast, focus, brightness, reduce or enlarge the image, and print or save your chosen image to a USB. It's easy to move the film backwards or forwards, or click and drag to scroll through the pages slowly. Again, the staff can show you how super fun and easy it is to operate the microfilm reader.

A select collection of microfiche is also available, and microfiche look like this :

Microfilm is a continuous loop of film, whereas microfiche is a flat little rectangle of film. As you can see, the microfilm reader at the library reads both formats.

Other records on film include the Police Gazette 1900-1930, selected items concerning the Tichborne trial, local newspapers The Urana Shire Advocate, The Lockhart Review, and the Coolamon and Ganmain Farmers Review.

Microfilms from other branches in the Riverina Regional Library service can be requested and used within the library. If you still can't find the microfilm you're looking for, it may be available through inter library loan from the National Library in Canberra. Ask at the information desk for details about this service.

Last but not least, always worth a plug as an amazing resource anyone can access and use, is Trove's online Australian newspaper search:

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