Adding Color To Microfilmed Records

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By Amanda Forson,

Sometimes the depth perception needed to view a microfilmed record does not exist when the record transfers through the light and mirrors, becoming amplified on the slanted or flat microfilm reader table.

How to solve this conundrum and be able to see the hidden text with messages from our ancestors’ pasts? When confronted with a problem with the textural gradient , the correct tool to use is a simple piece of colored typing paper, preferably in yellow. Blue or green also show up well, though yellow is optimal.

Typing paper has a smooth surface, and often can be bought in single-page quantities… just enough for the researcher to use at the time of searching.

Construction paper has a little too much texture for some eyes (including mine) and removes the point of using the paper–increased clarity.

Scrap-booking paper, unless of a single shade, is also not recommended. The more solid the color, and the brighter, the better the contrast and the more the record “pops” from the solid projection.

My personal favorite color to use is a reasonable, pastel yellow. Offering clarity, it does not hurt my eyes with excessive brightness.

Neon paper may work better for researchers with the beginnings of disintegrated vision, but for those with better eyesight, all that is needed is color to squeeze out results from pages otherwise too withdrawn for good searchability.

“Human Depth Perception: Texture Gradient,” Hyperwave. (Graz University of Technology: Graz, Austria), 24 Jan1995. [Accessed 5 Jul 2007.]×811bc833_0×000dacca.

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