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Newspapers from Thirty-seven Foreign Countries Microfilmed Daily at Widener

Kilgour Claims All Papers May Be Recorded Cheaply if Several Copies Area Made


In spite of the spreading European conflicts, foreign newspapers still continue to pour into Widener library each day to be microfilmed for future reference.

Among the 37 foreign countries represented are Germany, Russia, China, Japan, and even Czechoslovakia. Under the direction of Frederick G. Kilgour '35, assistant librarian, the process was started in the summer of 1938.

Photographic images of newspaper pages are transferred to non-perforated 35 millimeter motion picture film, which reduces storage space by one one-hundred and fiftieth of that of an actual newspaper.

Another advantage, according to Kilgour, is that the sturdier, non-combustible quality of the film is better preserved than original copies of papers.

The practical value of the method has been proved by the large number of other libraries who subscribe. Financed partly by sale of the films and partly by the Rockefeller Foundation, Wideuer is now the only library in the country cashing in on the idea.

If only one copy of a paper is microfilmed, the process would naturally be too expensive for practical use. But if four or more reproductions are made the cost of recording and distributing them to other libraries, is reduced to approximately one cent a page.

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