Microfilm reader approved for Collie Library

Collie Library will soon be able to preserve and retain local history more efficiently as the Shire of Collie council agrees to purchase a microfilm reader.

A microfilm reader is a device used in projecting and magnifying images stored in microform to readable portions and is used as a way to store archived documents and newspapers.

Both this year and last year a request was made to council to replace the library's current microfilm reader as it had been out of commission and unable to be repaired.

Coalfields Museum and Historical Society committee member Alison Kipman said Collie had a rich history which needed the machine to preserve for future generations.

"Research is a large part of what we do and we feel strongly that (a microfilm reader) will assist us and other groups working hard to preserve the history of Collie," she said.

"We have a large collection of photo negatives and documents and so far have listed five thousand of these in our inventory and have many more to go.

"We are also fortunate to have a rich and dated history back to 1908 through the Collie Mail archive to tap into and assist with research.

"Microfilm is a vital cog in the research wheel and giving us access to microfilm newspapers, and it also helps make newspapers into a searchable format."

The Coalfields Museum and Historical Society, the Collie Family History Society and the Local History Studies unit of the Collie Public Library are the current representative groups for preserving the history of Collie.

After a minor debate regarding the location of the reader once bought, council unanimously authorised the purchase of the reader, which will cost the shire $13,990.