Germantown, Maryland

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The Difference Between Microfilm and Actual Records

At home I’m very fortunate to live close to a Family History Center, where I have access to many microfilm records from Prata and Pratola Serra. But researching on microfilm is terrible – very tedious and the records can be very difficult to read.


On this trip I’ve learned what a joy it is to be able to research in the original records. I could have spent every day for a full week in the Avellino Archives, and I’ll plan to spend more time there when I return.


Below is an example of the difference in the records. Both are copies of the 1886 marriage record of my great-great-grandparents, Luigi Vitale and Giuseppa Ferrara. The first is the scanned copy I made from microfilm (and it’s actually much easier to read than many microfilm records), and the second is the photo I took of the actual record with my phone. What a difference, particularly when you’re spending hours researching.


Scanned copy from microfilm

A photo of the actual marriage record

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