Usable / Non-usable / Reusable. Present continuous of microfilms

Gionco, Pamela Usable / Non-usable / Reusable. Present continuous of microfilms., 2016 [Preprint]

Gionco-NECS workshop.pdf - Accepted version

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English abstract

The technology of microfilm was one of the many technical improvements of the 19th century, which combined the advances of photography to fix images with the microscope optics to reduce them. Since then, microfilming has spread slowly in quite particular fields. Embraced by spies, shaped by librarians, loved by genealogists, microphotography presents a paradox as the basis of its survival: while the conservation of documents is probably its main goal, access to the information may be its principal obstacle. Almost like a riddle, each reel may contain hundreds of documents, but they cannot be read without the proper device. Our aim is to tackle microfilming from the perspectives of media archeology and microhistory, i.e., looking for small stories and affairs related to this imaging technique, which can still be found in the 21st century. That is why we would like to focus on three matters of this media: the traditional uses of microfilm for archival purposes, considering both successful and unsuccessful cases of information recovery; the appropriation of the technique by espionage in the context of Cold War, and its representation in films; and the use of microphotography in jewelry and ornaments, both in the past and the present.

Spanish abstract

La tecnología de microfilm fué una de las muchas mejoras técnicas del siglo XIX, que combinó los avances de la fotografía para corregir imágenes bajo la óptica del microscopio con el fin de reducirlas. Desde entonces, la microfilmación se ha extendido lentamente en campos bastante particulares. Utilizada por espías, bibliotecarios, genealogistas entre otros, la microfotografía presenta una paradoja y sobrevive: si bien la conservación de documentos es probablemente su principal objetivo, el acceso a la información puede ser su principal obstáculo. Casi como un enigma, cada carrete puede contener cientos de documentos, pero no se pueden leer sin el dispositivo adecuado. El objetivo de este estudio es abordar la microfilmación desde las perspectivas de la arqueología de los medios y la microhistoria, es decir, buscar pequeñas historias y asuntos relacionados con esta técnica de imagen, que aún se pueden encontrar en el siglo XXI. Es por eso se enfocar esta investigación en tres temas: los usos tradicionales del microfilm para fines de archivo, considerando tanto los casos exitosos como los no exitosos de recuperación de información; la apropiación de la técnica por espionaje en el contexto de la Guerra Fría, y su representación en películas; por otro lado se enfoca al uso de la microfotografía en joyas y adornos, tanto en el pasado como en el presente.

Item type: Preprint
Keywords: Microfilm, Technology, Archives, Material culture, Tecnologías, Archivos, Material cultural
Subjects: A. Theoretical and general aspects of libraries and information. > AB. Information theory and library theory.
A. Theoretical and general aspects of libraries and information. > AC. Relationship of LIS with other fields .
B. Information use and sociology of information
H. Information sources, supports, channels. > HF. Microforms.
Depositing user: Lic. Pamela Gionco
Date deposited: 17 Jan 2019 11:38
Last modified: 17 Jan 2019 11:38


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