Artifact of the week

This microfilm reader is used to project and magnify images stored in microform. Microform includes flat film, microfilm, microfiche, etc. Stored on open reels or cassettes, microfilm is often used as a way to store many documents in a small space.

Typically microfilm readers have a screen large enough to project the entire film image and a lens to magnify the image on the film to at least the size of the original document. The light source provides illumination. The film rolls are typically loaded on the left reel, threaded under the glass and then attached to a take-up reel on the right.

Other controls allow you to manipulate the images, enlarging or rotating it to place it in the position you desire to read the document. Some machines have the ability to create a printed copy of the document with the push of a button.

Microfilm has been increasingly used to store archived newspapers. The back issues of the “Arkansas Gazette” as well as the daily “Log Cabin Democrat,” beginning with the first issue in 1908, are available on microfilm at the State Archives, Faulkner County Library, UCA Torreyson Library and Hendrix College’s Bailey Library. The back issues of the weeklies, however, are only available at the Faulkner County Library and the State Archives.

I have had several inquiries from readers who were looking for copies of articles in back issues of the newspaper and this one way to access those old articles. The microfilm rolls are dated, usually with a month’s worth of newspapers on each reel. Knowing the date when the article was published is very helpful.

This will be the last installment of artifact of the week. I am redirecting my historical research and writing toward other projects which I hope to be able to someday share with readers. I have enjoyed sharing our community’s past with you over the last five years through these columns, “A Look Forward,” and my original “A Look Back” column. I thank former editor/publisher Kelly Sublett for giving me the opportunity to share these stories with you.

Please continue to support the Log Cabin! The small staff does a great job and will continue to need your assistance to make sure local news is reported. I have enjoyed working with them and seeing them grow as reporters and writers!

To continue to learn more about Faulkner County history, pick up a copy of “Faulkner Facts and Fiddling” at the library or museum. Or better still, join the Faulkner County Historical Society at www.faulknerhistory.org and we will send you a copy as part of your membership. We publish 2-3 times a year and would welcome any local history story submissions or suggestions. Just send them to beckman@windstream.net. I have recently been serving as the editor and have some great Faulkner County stories to share.

To see more Faulkner County artifacts, visit the Faulkner County Museum’s Facebook page or its website, www.faulknercounty museum.org. Help preserve our county’s history with your tax-deductible donation. And go visit when it reopens!

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