Some Technology That Isn’t Obsolete, but That I Wish Were

I mentioned a little while ago that we recently received a box of Rice related materials from the Masterson family. Included were quite a few newspaper clippings that mention Dr. Masterson (’35), many dating back to the ’40s and ’50s. I found this 1952 article among them and I was struck by its cheerful and optimistic tone. (Note the author, another famous Rice alum.) I can understand it, I guess, as microfilm allows us access to a lot of stuff we wouldn’t otherwise have available.

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But I’ve read many thousands of pages of college newspapers on microfilm and I hated every miserable minute of it. It’s awkward, squinty work, so uncomfortable that I’m currently putting off two small projects that require me to use it. I’ll break down eventually but not today.

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9 Responses to Some Technology That Isn’t Obsolete, but That I Wish Were

  1. I’ve done some architectural research with microfilm. I agree — it’s nasty. Difficulty to get good copies, too.

  2. mjthannisch says:

    I’ve done a lot too, both at Rice and at the Clayton Genealogical Library in Houston, and the one in Ft. Worth as well. It does wear you out, but the sense of discovery often cancels that out when you suddenly find a long lost relative.

  3. Grungy says:

    If people would take better care of the films, and not allow them to get scratched and dusty, the work would be a lot easier.

  4. grungy1973 says:

    Good job, BTW, with the elimination of the unwanted column-inches.
    Nice to have a student who remembers her lessons.

  5. loki_the_bubba says:

    I’ve had a real distaste for microfilm ever since I read “Double Fold”, by Nicholson Baker, about libraries destroying books and newspapers after filming them.

  6. Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

    Did any of you have the experience with microfilm that I had, doing genealogical work on the older microfilm machines? Namely, getting tired of the forward leaning position, consequently resting my forehead on the COLD machine, and being thrown into paroxysms of sneezing.

    However, It probably was cheaper than snuff, though.

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