We frequently receive requests from individuals and organizations that have microfilm records but are unsure of the specific type of microfilm they own. This short introduction to microfilm may help you determine which type of record you have and what characteristics distinguish your records. Microfilm, by the way, was first practically employed by the French in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 to send messages by carrier pigeon over enemy lines. Scanning your microfilm should be easier, assuming no pigeons.
Microfilm is the popular term that has traditionally been the catch-all phrase used for all formats of this media. There are some distinct types of microfilm that we’ll review:
(1) Roll Film: typically comes in two widths: 16mm and 35mm
(2) ANSI Cartridges
(3) Microfiche: comes in several formats, including jacket microfiche and COM fiche
(4) Aperture Cards