Technology changes are nothing new…

21 Oct

It may seem like things are changing a lot with computers and the Internet, and they are, but people in years gone by experienced change too. An example from the 1950s  is shown here. Three librarians, Stevens, McCrory and McPherson, are standing around a brand new microfilm machine in the library, which at that time in the 1950s occupied the center section of the 2nd floor in Hartwell.

Microfilm was invented long before the 1950s, but it was only after WWII and the growth of higher education that took place then that microfilm really came into its own. Libraries needed more and more materials, and one space efficient way to house newspapers and magazines is to film them onto a roll of film.

Not so long ago, at least not so long to your blogger, a major portion of the back of the main floor of the library was taken up by banks of microfilm readers, and masses of file cabinets housing thousands of rolls of microfilm. As part of his job one of the technicians in the AV/Tech unit would periodically visit the library to adjust the readers, replace bulbs etc. We even had some portable microfilm readers that came in a briefcase set up that you could check out!

We still have some of those materials and readers, but so much is available online nowadays that microfilm no longer has the central place it once did. One wonders what current cutting edge technologies of today will seem as quaint in the future as the microfilm machine does today?

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Posted by on October 21, 2010 in Uncategorized


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