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Nick,

I believe microforms are still the preferred format for the security copy of records to be retained for long-term or permanent retention. Converting to computer image files is wonderful for DISTRIBUTING the records, for example, putting them on the web for researchers. But you'll still want to keep that security copy in microfilm. 

For example, I do a lot of reading of microfilmed newspapers from the 1840's. I used to have to go to the library and use the microfilm  & reader. Now those newspapers are on the web through a local university's library, so I can read my 1848 newspapers at home. Convenient, you bet. But they'd better not (and have no plans to) destroy the microfilm, as the web and the electronic source files are not (yet) reliable permanent record media.

Some day improvements in technology will make electronic records suitable for permanent retention, but we're not there yet.

Gary Link, CRM
Pittsburgh, PA 

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