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FW: Historic Birmingham Newspapers [rescued!]

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  • Amos J Wright
    Fyi.. ajwright@uab.edu     ... From: Jim Baggett To: Jim@jimreedbooks.com; sala-l@mail.auburn.edu Sent: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 14:07:32
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 18, 2005
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      Fyi.. ajwright@...  
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jim Baggett <jbaggett@...>
      To: Jim@...; sala-l@...
      Sent: Fri, 15 Jul 2005 14:07:32 -0500
      Subject: Historic Birmingham Newspapers
      July 13, 2005 
      Public Relations Department 
      Birmingham Public Library 
      *Library?s Microfilm Collection Rescued from ?Vinegar Syndrome?* 
      The Birmingham Public Library and the Birmingham News have collaborated
      on a joint project to replace a major portion of the library?s microfilm
      collection of the Birmingham newspapers. This important purchase
      replaces more than 2,000 reels of the library?s damaged and
      deteriorating microfilm for the newspapers from the late 19th century
      into the 1970s. Much of the collection was affected with vinegar
      syndrome, a condition that causes the image on the film to disappear, as
      the film?s chemical compounds breakdown and gives off a vinegar smell.
      This deterioration is irreversible and makes the microf! ilm unreadable.
      It was with absolute urgency that the library sought to rescue this
      critical collection. Everyday, researchers, citizens, media personnel,
      and scholars visit the library to use this microfilm, much of it
      available almost no where else. These researchers will appreciate the
      improved quality and readability of the new film, which otherwise would
      be lost. 
      The Birmingham Public Library collects newspaper microfilm dating back
      to the 1750s. The endangered Birmingham News microfilm, a major portion
      of which dates from 1894 to the present, documents the history and daily
      life in Birmingham, from the mining and industrial years through the
      civil rights era and the city?s emergence as a major medical center.
      Each reel of film contains images of complete newspapers including the
      daily news, columns, feature articles, editorials, advertisements,
      sports, and even the comics and movie listings. Front-page stories on
      local reaction to global events are f! ollowed with notices of weddings,
      deaths, and local sports scores. Illustrations and photographs supply
      pictures of the people and events that made the news. The Birmingham
      Public Library is replacing a significant portion of this history,
      through the newspaper microfilm. 
      Barbara Sirmans, Director of the Birmingham Public Library, describes
      this purchase as ?saving an essential asset for the Southern History
      Department and the Department of Archives and Manuscripts where research
      ranges from family history to book research to screenwriting projects.
      We are deeply appreciative to the Birmingham News for helping make this
      project possible.? 
      The library?s complete collection of Alabama newspapers comprises
      approximately 6,600 reels of film housed in the Microforms Room on the
      second floor of the Linn-Henley building of the Central Library complex
      at 2100 Park Place. Additional information is available at 226-3625. 
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