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AppropriateTechnology Library On Microfi...
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All About Microfiche

What is a microfiche card?

Microfiche are 4" by 6" (11cm x 16cm) plastic cards on which photographic images are placed. Each microfiche card in this library can hold 98 to 133 pages of text, depending on the size of the original pages. The cards are read with "microfiche readers" which magnify the image back to its original size and project it onto a reader screen. Will the cards last over time? The plastic used in these cards is the most durable available. The Images are created useing a Process called "diazo," which provides superior image quality with a proven life of 10-20 years of heavy use in any climate. The cards also feature a scratch-resistant epoxy coating. This durable diazo process should not be confused with silver-based films, sometimes used in other microfiche, that do not last in tropical or dusty conditions.

How long does it take to learn to use the system?

Within their file box, the microfiche are organized according to the chapters in the Appropriate Technology Sourcebook. A new user can become familiar with the system in less than 15 minutes. On the cards themselves, there are several other features which make this system easy to use :

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