Sunday, September 15, 2019

Obsolete Media

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a briefly  popular alternative to microfilm and microfiche was something called microprint.  100:1 reduction print on glossy, opaque card stock.  The Early American Imprints collections of every obscure printed document through 1819 were printed on these.  I needed 1801 Tenn. Laws 259-261 and all the College of Western Idaho could borrow was a microprint version.  "No problem, Boise State has microprint readers.  Fifteen years ago, I used them to read stuff from Early American Imprints there."  What should have been a tipoff was that when I went to use those documents, which even 100:1 reduced, took up two floor to ceiling bookshelves. one of the bookshelves was facing a wall, and was not accessible."

Friday, I discovered that they have no microprint readers, nor a clue where this collection of historic documents went.  (I fear they were recycled.  Somewhere, I fear, a couple centuries of American history recycled into pizza boxes are in a landfill.)  Northwest Nazarene University may still have a microprint reader; I am waiting for a call back.

If you have access to a library on this list:; could I cajole you into going there, and photocopying or scanning the title page and pp. 259-61?  And yes, this is about putting a torpedo through the California Attorney-General's powder magazine.  UC Berkeley and Stanford libraries have it either on microfilm or microprint.  I know that Berkeley has (or had) microprint printers (even rarer than the readers).

Or if your university has a subscription to Early American Imprints, that would be a lot easier to get those pages.

Thanks, one of retrieved it for me.

1 comment: