(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: Quite Possibly The Oldest Microfilm Reader On Earth

Maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit. But not much.

I know that I’ve been spoiled by big-town libraries that have the budget to buy fancy microfilm readers that are connected to copy machines or better yet that you can put your thumb drive in and save images.

My visit to Mount Ayr, Iowa reminded me that not all libraries are in that category.

The library is tiny. The town is pretty small though, so I didn’t expect much.

They have a very nice genealogy room downstairs with lots of great books and histories. The staff is friendly and helpful.

They also have all of the local papers on microfilm. These papers are gold mines for genealogical information. It’s a small area, so they reported when people sneezed. If I had the time – and the budget to sit in a hotel for a week, I could probably track my great-great parents lives during the thirty years they lived there. I don’t have unlimited amounts of time though and my research was restricted to one day.

The only thing holding up my research on my trip this past week, was the fact that the microfilm machine was a dinosaur. Crank handle. Not so good lighting. No copier! {shudder}


I had to find the article I was looking for, and then take a picture of it with my camera. In the end, it all worked out, so I can’t complain too much.

But if you’ve got a grant of some sort that you’re wanting to give out to a genealogical society or library, can I suggest Mount Ayr, Iowa? I’m sure that it would be much appreciated! At least by me.:)

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  • Heather Roelker - June 1, 2011 - 9:21 am

    Funny! My local Family History Center has five of these!ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Cayemberg - June 1, 2011 - 10:19 am

    Maybe you need to apply for one of those grants on behalf of the Mount Ayr library!ReplyCancel

  • Hummer - June 6, 2011 - 11:12 am

    Oh, no…. This by far younger than the Readers at our FHC. We actually have a rig separate for rewinding so the belts don’t fall off. Our “copier” film reader is a bigger and hand cranked.
    Nope yours is not the oldest still out there. :)

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