The microform collections in the State Library of NSW consist of roll microfilm (both 16mm and 35mm) and microfiche (sheets of film, 15 x 10.5 cm, with frames of information in a grid pattern). Staff will assist clients in the use of microforms on the available viewing equipment.
In order to preserve frail, original materials from deterioration through repeated handling by clients and staff, microform copies have been made of a wide range of published and unpublished Library materials. When items held in the Library have been microfilmed for preservation reasons, clients will be issued with the microfilm or microfiche copies when the copied items are requested.
Microforms have also been acquired of material held in other institutions and in private hands, both in Australia and overseas, when these supplement the Library’s holdings. The Mitchell Library for example, holds on microfilm some significant Australian and Pacific documents copied from the originals held in Spanish, French and Italian archives.
In addition to searching the Library’s card catalogues, if the microform is of printed material it will be listed in the online catalogue of published materials; if it is of original materials, it will be listed in the online manuscripts and pictures catalogue.
Some specific microfilming projects
The Mitchell Library has also acquired extensive holdings of microfilms through the following three projects:
- Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) – This project (over 10,000 microfilm reels) copied Australian historical materials held in collections in Great Britain and Ireland (e.g., the Public Record Office, London).
- Pacific Manuscripts Bureau (PMB) – This project continues to copy original documents and rare printed material held in countries throughout the Pacific region.
- Society of Australian Genealogists Joint Copy Project (SAG) – This project copies NSW church registers of births, deaths and marriages.
Other collection strengths include:
- Genealogical research materials, e.g., copies of records held in Sate Records NSW.
- Electoral rolls.
- Census records.
- Australian and international statistics.
- Australian and United Kingdom parliamentary papers.
- Australian and USA patents.
- Irish convict records.
- International telephone directories.
- Early English Books on microfilm (4,500 reels).
Many newspapers and other journals are available on microfilm, e.g.:
- Sydney Morning Herald (1,800 reels).
- The Times, London (730 reels).
- Australian Financial Review (450 reels).
- Australian Women’s Weekly.
- The Bulletin.
Microforms can readily facilitate the supply of further copies to clients, copyright permitting. From existing preservation microfilm reels, further client copies can generally be generated in the form of duplicate microfilms, paper copies and digital (CD/DVD) copies. For ordering details see Microform orders and sales.