I’ve had a stack of fiche and a number of rolls of microfilms sitting around doing nothing for a decade and more due to a lack of ability to get good images off ’em. Every scanner I came across out in the wild would only do two-bit black-and-white scans, which turned the already dubious image quality into useless mush; efforts to capture the images via photography were roughly equally useless. Fortunately, at long last, I found that the University library up in Logan has microform scanners that do proper grayscale. So today I blew a number of hours digging through some old periodicals (“Space World”) and making scans. At last I can get half-ass decent copies of a whole bunch of German V-2 diagrams, among other things.
The image quality still kinda blows compared to good scans taken directly off the documents, but this is about as good as it’ll get for microfiche.
For those of you too young to remember microfiche and microfilm: these technologies were… you know, screw it. If you’re too young to remember these, get off my damn lawn. You’re probably like all those college-goin’ youngsters at the library today who were wondering “what’s that creepy old guy was doing at that mysterious machine that none of us ever use?”