BETHLEHEM, Pa., November 29, 2016 – On behalf of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) and its Middle East Materials Project (MEMP), Backstage Library Works (www.bslw.com) recently microfilmed 10 years of the Palestinian newspaper, al-Hadaf (The Target). The Arabic-language newspaper began weekly publication in 1969. Three leading institutions, New York University, University of Texas at Austin, and Yale University contributed a total of 56 newspaper volumes dating 1979 to 1989. Extracting a continuous run from the three sources required complex interfiling, collation and reel breaking. Backstage teams microfilmed a total of 24,849 pages, producing 24 reels of preservation quality microfilm.
Because each collection was incomplete, Backstage teams integrated issues from each collection into chronological order. The bound newspapers presented challenges for filming the full text of each page. Glossy pages posed issues with gutter glare, while tight bindings made gutter shadow a concern for most volumes. Backstage met each challenge successfully through communication with CRL and by using careful material handling techniques.
Judy Alspach, Area Studies Program Manager at Center for Research Libraries states:
"We are glad that Backstage was willing to tackle this project. We were concerned about how to best collate the materials and then send the materials to Backstage for microfilming in a way that would make sense. They communicated thoroughly, and showed consideration along with attention to detail throughout the entire project."