chapter  39
24 Pages

Microfilm Collections of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States

WithThomas M. Izbicki

During the decades following the Second World War, academic research collections experienced rapid growth. Among the means adopted for collection development in that prosperous period was the purchase of microform reproductions of manuscript and printed sources. Microform technology was not new to the postwar period, but the mating of improved, standardized production with better equipment and increased demand resulted in a “microform revolution.” Microforms also represented, besides their role in the diffusion of knowledge, means of preserving the records and writings of past ages. More recent years have seen university libraries attempting to make research materials available despite shrinking finances and increasing prices. Those libraries have continued to look to microforms as a less costly means of acquiring resources in forms which put less pressure on the storage capacities of their buildings.