October 31, 2020

Commonwealth Imaging Expertise

Who prefers microfilm?
Microfilm is a highly useful resource to researchers, historians and genealogists.
When a newspaper is viewed in microform, an image of the entire page appears, just as it was originally produced. The placement and prominence of an article, editorial, photo, advertisement, or announcement on the page gives the researcher additional valuable information.microfilm

Often times, the researcher will find other unexpected, but important and related information on a newspaper page while viewing microfilm.

Why Microfilming is preferred
Microfilming newspapers, periodicals, books and documents is the most durable and accessible method of preserving these integral sources of history and information. It can be easily viewed and will stand the test of time. What is more, microfilm is easily scanned to a digital image, allowing other possibilities, particularly internet access to these files.

Newspaper Microfilm Subscriptions
Every community in Canada has a local newspaper; every educational institution has a newsletter or newspaper; every profession has its periodical. Libraries, museums and archives subscribe to these publications in microform.

Silver Halide or Vesicular film?
Following are some considerations when determining which kind of microfilm is right for your purposes.


Vesicular Film
  • vesicular Vesicular film should be considered for the majority of titles.
  • Resolution/image clarity of vesicular is not as good as silver-halide film.
  • Vesicular has no emulsion layer and, therefore, is relatively impervious to scratches that obliterate the image.
  • Vesicular is tolerant of high relative humidity.
  • It should be noted that Vesicular film is not considered "archival quality", and can fade over time.


Silver-Halide Film
  • Silver/Silver-Halide film should be considered when the title requires high resolution.vesicular
  • Graphics with meaningful detail (i.e., aerial photography, satellite imagery, and art reproductions) and text (i.e., Burmese, Hebrew, etc. or pencil manuscripts) with fine lines require high resolution.
  • Extremely fine grains of silver are used to make silver film. As a result of this refinement, silver film is capable of very high resolution and crisp, clear images.
  • Silver-Halide is carried in a gelatin emulsion layer that is not tolerant of high relative humidity and only moderately tolerant of moderate relative humidity.
  • Silver-Halide film is particularly susceptible to scratching. Because the emulsion, which carries the image, is a surface layer, scratches may obliterate the image.
  • Silver-Halide is considered "archival quality" and will stay stable for hundreds of years.


Shipping, Materials and Handling
Great care and attention is paid to delivering microfilm to our customers. Microfilm is stored in acid-free boxes, labeled, carefully packed, and shipped via courier service.

Claims Policy
The customer must notify us if reels appear to be missing from a shipment within six months of receipt of that shipment, in order to receive the missing material at no charge.

Newspaper Microfilm Backfile Duplicating
"Backfiles", or archived microfilm, can be duplicated for the customers own newspaper microfilm collection, as can replacement reels. Commonwealth Imaging has well over 45 million images of newspapers available for duplicating from masters carefully stored in its vaults.

"National Treasure"
Over 45 million images, over 50 current publications and approximately 300 archived publications from all across Canada and the territories- we hope you'll be as excited as we are about our microfilm collection! Some have called it a "National Treasure".