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Microfilm is a high resolution photographic film used to capture miniaturized document images that can be viewed using special readers. The process of capturing documents on film began in the mid-1800s. Microfilm was first proposed for the preservation of information in the 1950s and over the years became an important standard for document preservation and storage.

Microfilm is an important resource for genealogists, providing access to information from far distant places that may have been previously unavailable, except through correspondence or on-site examination. The availability of microfilmed resources also increased the visibility of records, allowing researchers to find new information sources. The Genealogical Society of Utah began microfilming records in 1938 and microfilmed important family history sources in over 100 countries worldwide, resulting in the vast microfilm collection of the LDS Family History Library.

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