Archival quality microfilm offers reassurance that the image on the film will be legible far into the future. No other media offers this level of confidence and re-assurance. We define archival microfilm as that which meets the demands of either the National Preservation Office Guide to Microfilming (aka Mellon Microfilming Project Guidelines (prevalent in the UK) or the RLG Standards (in the USA).
An electronic file has the potential to open access to a collection with a speed, flexibility and connectivity that microfilm cannot. Through the internet and other networks, information and resources from libraries, museums and archives can now be shared beyond the physical boundaries of the collections.
The direction of government and the interest of our colleagues is towards IT and away from analogue preservation, and projects with an IT element attract better funding.
One of the greatest fears for anyone entrusted with the preservation of collections is the damage and destruction that can be wrought by fire or flood. This is particularly so for microfilm collections where the film might be the only remaining contact with the original item.