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Subject: Condition of British Manuscripts Microfilm Project film

Condition of British Manuscripts Microfilm Project film

From: Peter Graham <psgraham>
Date: Tuesday, February 1, 1994
Several issues get raised here (this message follows a thread of someone
mentioning a WW II microfilming project of about 4000 items, and my
question whether they had ever been cataloged).  Are they of interest to
the Cons DistList? Seems to me it ought to interest *someone*.  --pg

    Date: 31 Jan 94
    Sender: FICINO Discussion--Renaissance and Reformation Studies
        <FICINO [at] utoronto__bitnet>
    From: Frank Brownlow <fbrownlo [at] mhc__bitnet>
    Subject: Condition of British Manuscripts Microfilm Project film

    There is a catalogue to the Lib. Congress/Univ. of Michigan
    microfilms of British MSS called, I think, The British Manuscripts
    Microfilm Project. It's helpful as a general guide. The collection
    is enormously varied, though with considerable holdings from Brit.
    Lib. and the Bodleian. When I used the films I tracked their
    contents with the BL and the Bodleian catalogues--which often proved
    inaccurate, by the way. Michigan had a card catalogue of about the
    same level of detail as the printed catalogue.

    Michigan had the positives of the films, LC the negatives. Even when
    I was at Michigan, over 20 years ago, the films were
    neglected--improperly stored and brittle. According to the Michigan
    card catalogue, there were large numbers of uncatalogued Cambridge
    University MSS supposed to be in the collection, but I never found

    About 7 years ago I ordered a couple of MSS in the set from the
    Library of Congress. When they came they were so faint as to be
    almost unreadable, so chances are their set is in bad shape too.

    This is sad, because it was a remarkable collection, and a great
    achievement on Eugene Power's part. My experience with the films was
    that I found a MS I wanted got used to microfilm at the Shakespeare
    Institute. It was terra incognita for the Michigan people, who
    really were completely uninterested, even though I think Warner Rice
    had been University Librarian when the films were made. I may be
    wrong about that.

    I suspect the collection is no longer usable.

    --Frank Brownlow.

Peter Graham
Rutgers University Libraries
169 College Ave.,
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
Fax: 908-932-5888

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:57
                 Distributed: Friday, February 4, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-7-57-010
Received on Tuesday, 1 February, 1994

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