South Central Regional Library Council (SCRLC) has awarded a $6,000 Technology and Digitization Grant to the Chemung County Library District (CCLD) toward the purchase of a microfilm scanner for the Steele Memorial Library Genealogy Department. The Friends of CCLD are providing the remaining funds in order to make this possible.
Microfilm is a format of film, usually stored on a reel, that contains microphotographs. Microfilm was a popular way of reformatting and storing newspapers because it is a stable format, slow to deteriorate, and requires significantly less storage space. These reels are easier to digitize than physical newspapers, especially for old newspapers that are fragile and difficult to handle.
Steele Memorial Library’s Genealogy Librarian, Maggie Young, will use the new microfilm scanner to digitize the library’s collection of microfilmed newspapers from 1907 through 1925. Many of Elmira’s early newspapers are already digitized thanks to earlier grants from SCRLC. Those newspapers are available on the NYS Historic Newspapers website, https://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/.
The South Central Regional Library Council is one of nine Library Councils comprising the Empire State Library Network (ESLN). As a multi-type library consortium, SCRLC serves 69 members across 10,000 square miles in the counties of Allegany, Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates. SCRLC provides services to 18 academic libraries, 13 hospitals, 12 public libraries, library systems and their members, 6 school library systems and their members, 6 special libraries and 14 affiliate members. SCRLC reaches over 500 libraries in its service area. For more information about SCRLC, visit www.scrlc.org.