Local History Dept at Columbus-Lowndes Public Library Receives New Microfilm Machine

COLUMBUS, Miss.- The Local History Department at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library now has a new ST ViewScan II microfilm machine. The machine includes the latest technology and uses a 24” flat screen computer monitor to view the microfilm.

Features of the ST ViewScan II include a cropping tool that allows users to select multiple, independent areas from an image that can then be saved, shared, or printed. Users also have the ability to save images to a thumb drive.

In addition, there is a ClipMerge tool that enables patrons to combine, arrange, and size multiple scans to one page. In other words, images from two different scans can now be combined onto a single page.

The microfilm machine also includes an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Searchable Text Tool that allows operators to convert images to a searchable PDF document. Also included is a ST Cruise Control system that will automatically advance the film one page at a time and scan each frame, enhance, crop, and save the images.

Other aspects include the capability to add notes, a bibliography, highlight and black-out text, and a variety of drawing elements to ones scan.

Patrons can use the machine to view 16/35mm microfilm rolls, microfiche, ultrafiche and aperture cards.

The Local History Department has over 1,300 rolls of microfilm that includes Lowndes County Circuit and Chancery court records, local government records, county newspapers such as the Commercial Dispatch and The Columbus Packet, and United States Census Records from Southern states.

Microfilm is still considered a leading preservation method and storage medium because it is cost effective, modern microfilm will last over 500 years, and no matter how technology changes in the next 500 years one will always be able to scan microfilm into the very latest digital systems.

Funds for the ST ViewScan II were made possible through a Library Services and Technology Act grant, the Billups-Garth Foundation, and the Friends of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library.

For more information contact Mona Vance-Ali at 662-329-5304.

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