della Città di Torino

 via Barbaroux 32

 tel. +39 011-4431811 - fax +39 011-4431818



The introduction of images into office computer systems has greatly helped resolve problems relating to the circulation, consultation and above all, in the case of the Historical Archives, the conservation of documentary material.
In 1975, Turin's Historical Archives set up a special microfilm department so that it could reproduce on film thousands of documents of various types and formats, thus preserving the originals from foreseeable deterioration caused by handling.
Today, in spite of the arrival of digital reproduction, first used in these Archives with the iconographic material of the Collezione Simeom, microfilm continues to perform a fundamental task regarding the consultation and consequent conservation of the town's historic memory. Compared with the undoubted advantages that computer technology provides from the point of view of acquisition, elaboration, filing and retrieval of information, microfilm offers different prerogatives of a 'practical' nature. It is sufficient to think how easy the viewer/printers are to use without the adoption of any user-interface, encouraging immediate use even on the part of inexpert users; or of the support (film) on which the image is reproduced, the only one that enables documents to be seen by means of a simple optical lens compared to the sophisticated technological equipment necessary to decipher the binary code impressed on optical-magnetic diskettes, subject though to greater risks of suddenly going out of production; or of the impossibility of manipulating microfilmed images, a guarantee of safety, unlike computerised archives that are easily subject to 'virus' attacks.

The microfilm laboratory has four planetary cameras capable of harmlessly reproducing bound volumes or small or large documents, a rotating microfilmer, a developer and a duplicator.
In over 25 years of activity more than 2,500 reels of 16 and 35 mm film have been taken, producing about 7 million frames.

Microfilmed collections include the Ordinati [City Orders] and the Atti municipali [Municipal Acts], the Series C of the Collezione Simeom [Simeom Collection], the Guide della Città di Torino [Guides to the City of Turin] Marzorati-Paravia editions, the Collezione V [Collection V], the Rivista Torino, and the 19th- and 20th-century censuses for Turin.

The microfilm reading room is air-conditioned and has three modern viewer/printers thanks to which the images can be visualised and reproduced by means of photocopiers integrated in the machines or by modern laser printers.