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Blogger claims birth announcements altered

An Internet blogger writing under the name ladysforest has collected various copies of the Honolulu Advertiser announcements of Barack Obama’s birth and compared them. Some of the images are in better condition than others, and some have scratches. The research is new, but the idea that the birth announcements were tampered with is not. (Note that commenter Black Lion first noted the ladysforest article here last June.)

Ladysforest makes a big point about not giving conclusions, but only pointing out “oddities”, although if I were trying to be objective I wouldn’t have used the word “infamous” to describe President Obama’s birth announcement as she did. I think any objective observer would say that the ladysforest article casts doubts more than it objectively presents evidence.

I would observe that one would not go to all the trouble that she did to compare images without some significant suspicion that something was awry. I can testify from my own experience that if you look at low-quality images of documents with suspicions, confirmation bias will make you see things to confirm your suspicions.

If you ask me why the films are different, I need go any further than ladysforest’s article. She herself provides evidence that the films were created by different companies: Micro Photo and Recordak. As for her other images, she got them online and who knows how many times these were copied and recopied, enlarged and shrunk.

27 Responses to Blogger claims birth announcements altered

  1. avatar
    Slartibartfast December 5, 2010 at 2:51 am #

    aarrgghh:
    yes, that’s miss tickly’s direct accusation: the hdoh slipped up. but her accusation exposes a hole in her narrative because it implies that the hdoh is somehow unable to create a foolproof facsimile of a document it is exclusively charged with issuing.

    Are you implying that Miss Tickly’s narrative isn’t logically consistent? I’m pretty sure that’s unpossible… πŸ˜‰

    Seriously, I think that’s why brithers (and conspiracy theorists in general) tend to focus on minute details – because all of those details can’t be simultaneously reconciled with each other. Just like Miss Tickly’s investigation of anomalies in the microfiche records of the newspaper birth announcement – she spent a lot of time yelling about inconsequential anomalies and very little explaining their significance or following their implications.

  2. avatar
    aarrgghh December 5, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    Slartibartfast:
    Are you implying that Miss Tickly’s narrative isn’t logically consistent?I’m pretty sure that’s unpossible…
    Seriously, I think that’s why brithers (and conspiracy theorists in general) tend to focus on minute details – because all of those details can’t be simultaneously reconciled with each other.Just like Miss Tickly’s investigation of anomalies in the microfiche records of the newspaper birth announcement – she spent a lot of time yelling about inconsequential anomalies and very little explaining their significance or following their implications.

    conspiracy theorists, in their efforts to uncover something — anything — wrong, become convinced that EVERYTHING is wrong and soon the hunt for the conspiracy devolves into an endless refudiation of every pebble under the plotters’ feet and every star over their heads — whatever will stick. while they often succeed in spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt among the sympathetic and the faithful, their lack of and even indifference to consistency only robs them of any credibility among the thinking.

  3. avatar
    MissTickly December 5, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    “Just like Miss Tickly’s investigation of anomalies in the microfiche records of the newspaper birth announcement – she spent a lot of time yelling about inconsequential anomalies and very little explaining their significance or following their implications.”

    I investigated no such thing. I see that you twits are confusing me with another individual–not just in the above statement, but throughout these comments.

    “Looking at page 6 on it describes is the physical dimension and the characteristics of the seal of HDOH and that there should be a black and will illustration of it for reference.”

    This is correct. The OIP has ordered that the HDOH disclose to me the black and white image listed as ‘Exhibit A’ within five days. That was on Tuesday.

  4. avatar
    Slartibartfast December 5, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    MissTickly: “Just like Miss Tickly’s investigation of anomalies in the microfiche records of the newspaper birth announcement – she spent a lot of time yelling about inconsequential anomalies and very little explaining their significance or following their implications.”I investigated no such thing. I see that you twits are confusing me with another individual–not just in the above statement, but throughout these comments.

    My apologies – I misremembered. I was thinking of this:

    http://myveryownpointofview.wordpress.com/2010/05/28/extra-extra-announcing-obamas-birth/

    I’m sorry that I was mistaken – this person shows the same tendency to make mountains out of molehills that you do. I think the only question a reasonable person would care about is can President Obama produce a certified copy of his COLB if asked by a court with proper jurisdiction and given the statements by the Hawaii DOH and governor, I highly doubt that this would present a problem (in fact, I’m guessing those statements may be sufficient). It seems to me that all of your ‘research’ is merely ‘sound and fury, signifying nothing’.

  5. avatar
    charo December 5, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    No t one comment is on topic here. Mass attack of Miss Tickley here is inappropriate. IMO the gang up sucks unless someone is REALLY asking for it. A suggestion: let Doc make a post about the issue.

  6. avatar
    Majority Will December 5, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    charo: No t one comment is on topic here.Mass attack of Miss Tickley here is inappropriate.IMO the gang up sucks unless someone is REALLY asking for it. A suggestion: let Doc make a post about the issue.

    And I stopped caring about what you think a long time ago.

  7. avatar
    Ladysforest December 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    Hi, I am the blogger at myveryownpointofview. You mentioned my research here.

    In point of fact, I never investigated “minutia” in the newspaper micro-films. Just looked for obvious differences. I stated that clearly in my research. I also stated this repeatedly:

    “Here are some of the additional oddities that I came across while doing my research. Once again, I will do my best to keep my personal opinion to myself.

    I apologize that this choice is upsetting to some readers. I do this because, well, to be frank, I don’t want to make anyone’s mind up for them. I do not want to diminish this research to a controversy.”

    “Yes, I will point to obvious oddities, but I will not attempt to influence you all by feeding you my own conclusions. It is of utmost importance to me that the material be judged on it’s own value.”

    I did the research because no one else had. A lot of theories were being tossed around and I wanted to have facts instead of the theories.

    I didn’t let myself get distracted by theories, not even my own. What would the point be in doing that? I put the research up because I felt that if people wanted to really look into it, or talk about it, or what have you, the best pace to start is with real material, compiled by real people……….not mysterious phantom blog commentators or because it was “accidentally” sent to someone who wasn’t supposed to have it.

    I can appreciate that most of you here don’t seem to have any respect for those that don’t strictly share your views, so I expect you to jump up and down on this comment.

    Commence πŸ™‚

  8. avatar
    Daniel December 5, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Oh great, another “concern troll”

  9. avatar
    Slartibartfast December 5, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Ladysforest: Hi, I am the blogger at myveryownpointofview. You mentioned my research here.In point of fact, I never investigated “minutia” in the newspaper micro-films.Just looked for obvious differences.I stated that clearly in my research.I also stated this repeatedly:“Here are some of the additional oddities that I came across while doing my research.Once again, I will do my best to keep my personal opinion to myself.I apologize that this choice is upsetting to some readers.I do this because, well, to be frank, I don’t want to make anyone’s mind up for them.I do not want to diminish this research to a controversy.”“Yes, I will point to obvious oddities, but I will not attempt to influence you all by feeding you my own conclusions.It is of utmost importance to me that the material be judged on it’s own value.”I did the research because no one else had.A lot of theories were being tossed around and I wanted to have facts instead of the theories.I didn’t let myself get distracted by theories, not even my own.What would the point be in doing that?I put the research up because I felt that if people wanted to really look into it, or talk about it, or what have you, the best pace to start is with real material, compiled by real people……….not mysterious phantom blog commentators or because it was “accidentally” sent to someone who wasn’t supposed to have it.I can appreciate that most of you here don’t seem to have any respect for those that don’t strictly share your views, so I expect you to jump up and down on this comment.Commence

    First off, I apologize for attributing your work to someone else. I have no problem if you want to dig into such minutia and publish what you find – I think it’s frivolous, but you’re certainly free to do it if you wish. Also, as a scientist, I certainly think that reporting the facts without opinion is a good idea. The problem I have is with people attributing unwarranted significance to your findings. Implicitly you have done this (by reporting it you obviously believe that it was worth your time and effort to uncover) but worse are the people who (to use a little hyperbole) think that it is incontrovertible proof that President Obama knowingly defrauded the American people and sufficient evidence to have him frog marched out of the Whitehouse. I believe that it is virtually certain that the explanations for the anomalies you (and Miss Tickly) found are completely benign (and most likely banal as well). If you want people (at least people who aren’t operating under a confirmation bias towards conspiratorial explanations) to take you seriously then you need to show that an innocuous explanation is impossible or at least less likely than a nefarious one.

  10. avatar
    Ladysforest December 5, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    I offered no explanation ~ simply material.

    It has been my experience that people will attribuate significance to anything they feel strongly about regardless.

    I can point out that you yourself have done this regarding my work AND my motivation.

    BTW, MissTickley and I do not collaborate on any research, so I am at a loss as to why you feel a compulsion to tie my research to MissTickley’s activities. But I don’t find your opinion on that to be of any value, good or bad, being based on nothing of substance.

    It was never my intention to lead readers around by the nose and have them arrive at a particular conclusion. It’s not my business to do so. I do not mislead anyone, or direct them to form a conspiracy, nor to see the research the same way that I do.

    Why would I “need to show that an innocuous explanation is impossible or at least less likely than a nefarious one.”

    Why would I NEED to show an explanation of any type at all? I didn’t attempt to explain how the anomalies occured, but I should have attempted to provide an explanation that an innocuous explanation is impossible? I did not create or develop the material, merely collected it. You are free to study it in detail and provide your own theory/explanations. And welcome to do so.

    The research was based on what had already been released to the public, was already picked apart. I had no idea at all what I would, or would not, find when I began. I fully expected it to yield nothing of note. I was wrong about that.

    Benign and banal if one wishes to view it that way. Interesting and somewhat curious if one wishes to view it that way.

    More to the point, the material is there, for anyone interested in the subject, to dissect. Regardless of which side of the fence one occupies.

    Oh, @Daniel ~ since I have my own blog, which was mentioned here, and have said nothing remotely incendiary, I actually don’t fall into the category of “troll”. You have thin skin.

  11. avatar
    Daniel December 5, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    Ladysforest: Oh, @Daniel ~ since I have my own blog, which was mentioned here, and have said nothing remotely incendiary, I actually don’t fall into the category of “troll”. You have thin skin.

    Not thin skin, just good eyes.

    A “concern troll” i somewho pretends to be unbiased on an issue, but “sees” things that cause them “concern”. In fact the concern troll is less honest that the conspiracy troll. They promote the same crap, but at least the conspiracy troll is honest about it.

  12. avatar
    nbc December 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    So far you have drawn conclusions based on your preconceived notions. Furthermore while you claim that

    I WISH TO STATE THAT I AM NOT MAKING A CLAIM THAT I HAVE FACTUAL PROOF THESE MICROFILMS CONTAINING BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR obama ARE TAMPERED WITH

    What you have found is that different microfiche scans have images of differing quality.

    But since you claim that there are no claims on your part, there is little really to address other than to observe some anomalies for which there may be quite reasonable explanations.

    Now if one had found microfiches with no mention of the birth announcement, one would have a case for tampering, now you have merely some minor ‘mysteries’.

    So what do you want from us if you have no position on these data?

  13. avatar
    charo December 5, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    In an argument (usually a political debate), a concern troll is someone who is on one side of the discussion, but pretends to be a supporter of the other side with “concerns”. The idea behind this is that your opponents will take your arguments more seriously if they think you’re an ally. Concern trolls who use fake identities are sometimes known as sockpuppets.

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=concern+troll

    Ladysforest, I am sorry to inform you that you are not a concern troll. You need to be a little more supportive of the non-birther side before expressing your concerns in order to keep up the pretense. Also, the fact that you came here only when your blog was mentioned shows that you had a legitimate reason to respond here. Such will not do if you aspire to reach the title of concern troll.

  14. avatar
    nbc December 5, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    A “concern troll” i somewho pretends to be unbiased on an issue, but “sees” things that cause them “concern”. In fact the concern troll is less honest that the conspiracy troll. They promote the same crap, but at least the conspiracy troll is honest about it.

    A quick perusal of the blog in question indicates that a good case for using the term ‘concern troll’ may exist. However, I fail to see much of the relevance of the comparison of the various copies as they all show Obama’s birth announcement. What am I missing? Now if one were to find a copy which lacked Obama’s birth announcement but all we have now is copies of varying quality where minor differences are seen as more relevant than the similarities.

    Weird…

  15. avatar
    Daniel December 5, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    charo: In an argument (usually a political debate), a concern troll is someone who is on one side of the discussion, but pretends to be a supporter of the other side with “concerns”.

    A concern troll is also one who pretends not to have taken a position, or “sitting on the fence” but has “concerns”, or who pretends to be leaning to one side, but suggests they could be swayed, except for those lingering “concerns”.

    So yes, she is a concern troll.

    Unless you happen to believe that Urbandictionary.com is an authoratative work, of de Vattel-isque stature?

  16. avatar
    charo December 5, 2010 at 6:17 pm #

    Considering that the only time Ladysforest has responded here is when her blog was mentioned and she came here in defense of her blog, that takes her out of the category of concern troll. Her ideas come from her own blog, not after interacting with others here.

  17. avatar
    charo December 5, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

    Unless concern trolls troll their own blog… you got me on that one.

  18. avatar
    Nbc December 5, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    charo: Considering that the only time Ladysforest has responded here is when her blog was mentioned and she came here in defense of her blog, that takes her out of the category of concern troll. Her ideas come from her own blog, not after interacting with others here.

    Her blog portrays the effort as drawing no conclusions and yet… The underlying conclusion is quite clear but of course, there is no ‘proof’ so in that sense she is correct, just speculation as to some minor discrepancies.

    Given the nature of her blog, I find the pages where she distances herself from implied conclusions, somewhat unfortunate if not misleading.

    But in the end whether or not she is a concern troll, I find little of relevance in her arguments so far.

  19. avatar
    Slartibartfast December 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Ladysforest: I offered no explanation ~ simply material.It has been my experience that people will attribuate significance to anything they feel strongly about regardless.I can point out that you yourself have done this regarding my work AND my motivation.

    I haven’t attributed any significance to your motivation other than inferring that the fact you had pursued and published the research meant that you thought that it was worth pursuing. Personally I think that there is a better chance I will be hit by a meteor in the next 5 minutes than there is of your research having uncovered any sort of wrongdoing on the part of the president or his family. As I said, if you want to do this, it’s your affair, but when you publish it you are inviting commentary on both the research and its significance.

    BTW, MissTickley and I do not collaborate on any research, so I am at a loss as to why you feel a compulsion to tie my research to MissTickley’s activities.

    I never believed nor (intentionally) implied that you did collaborate, I merely thought that she had been the author of your article which I had read months ago. Also, I believe that you have a similar tendency to investigate minutia to discover anomalies (which almost certainly have mundane explanations) which is then trumpeted (not necessarily by you) as having significance in regards to the eligibility of President Obama.

    But I don’t find your opinion on that to be of any value, good or bad, being based on nothing of substance.

    My opinion is based on my understanding of what people who have so far correctly predicted the outcome of every court case regarding the president’s eligibility have said about the law and what Doc has said about public records. I don’t think that my opinion should hold any particular weight to anyone as I have no particular expertise or knowledge that is applicable here but I’m still free to express it, right?

    It was never my intention to lead readers around by the nose and have them arrive at a particular conclusion.It’s not my business to do so.I do not mislead anyone, or direct them to form a conspiracy, nor to see the research the same way that I do.

    Never said you did.

    Why would I“need to show that an innocuous explanation is impossible or at least less likely than a nefarious one.”Why would I NEED to show an explanation of any type at all?I didn’t attempt to explain how the anomalies occured, but I should have attempted to provide an explanation that an innocuous explanation is impossible?

    You do not need to add any explanations if you don’t want to, but anyone who wants to advance your research as evidence of some sort of illegitimacy regarding President Obama’s eligibility must do at least that much in order to have any credibility, in my opinion. In science we call this having a control – did you ever think of checking out several other innocuous records to see what anomalies you found? If you did, why didn’t you do this and if you didn’t, why not?

    I did not create or develop the material, merely collected it.You are free to study it in detail and provide your own theory/explanations.And welcome to do so.
    The research was based on what had already been released to the public, was already picked apart.I had no idea at all what I would, or would not, find when I began.I fully expected it to yield nothing of note.I was wrong about that.Benign and banal if one wishes to view it that way.

    I think this is disingenuous at best – if your research contains nothing relevant to President Obama’s eligibility then is it of any interest or significance at all? I don’t think so. Therefore simply by posting this material (thereby implying that it was of significance), you are advancing an opinion (which you seem to agree with).

    Interesting and somewhat curious if one wishes to view it that way.More to the point, the material is there, for anyone interested in the subject, to dissect.Regardless of which side of the fence one occupies.

    I would be surprised if anyone from this side of the fence found it interesting, but everyone is entitled to their own fetishes…

    Oh, @Daniel ~ since I have my own blog, which was mentioned here, and have said nothing remotely incendiary, I actually don’t fall into the category of “troll”.You have thin skin.

    I agree that you’ve done nothing at all to justify the troll label. I mistakenly attributed something you’d written to someone else – given that I made the mistake, I appreciate you correcting the error and it was certainly a reasonable thing to do.

  20. avatar
    Slartibartfast December 5, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    MissTickly: I investigated no such thing. I see that you twits are confusing me with another individual–not just in the above statement, but throughout these comments.

    Ladysforest: Hi, I am the blogger at myveryownpointofview. You mentioned my research here.

    Since Ladyforest begins her article with ‘hello kittens’ and Miss Tickly refers to people who might question her as ‘kittycat’ we can conclude (using the same quality of logic the two of you are using to imply that your anomalies are evidence of anything of significance) that you are, in fact, the same person – shame on you for saying I misrepresented your work! πŸ˜›

    In any case you (singular or plural) are free to advocate your work as you see fit, just as I am able to opine that the odds against either of you having discovered anything of significance relating to President Obama’s eligibility are similar to a snowflake’s chances of survival in a volcano…

  21. avatar
    ellid December 6, 2010 at 9:59 am #

    Ladysforest: Hi, I am the blogger at myveryownpointofview. You mentioned my research here.In point of fact, I never investigated “minutia” in the newspaper micro-films.Just looked for obvious differences.I stated that clearly in my research.I also stated this repeatedly:“Here are some of the additional oddities that I came across while doing my research.Once again, I will do my best to keep my personal opinion to myself.I apologize that this choice is upsetting to some readers.I do this because, well, to be frank, I don’t want to make anyone’s mind up for them.I do not want to diminish this research to a controversy.”“Yes, I will point to obvious oddities, but I will not attempt to influence you all by feeding you my own conclusions.It is of utmost importance to me that the material be judged on it’s own value.”I did the research because no one else had.A lot of theories were being tossed around and I wanted to have facts instead of the theories.I didn’t let myself get distracted by theories, not even my own.What would the point be in doing that?I put the research up because I felt that if people wanted to really look into it, or talk about it, or what have you, the best pace to start is with real material, compiled by real people……….not mysterious phantom blog commentators or because it was “accidentally” sent to someone who wasn’t supposed to have it.I can appreciate that most of you here don’t seem to have any respect for those that don’t strictly share your views, so I expect you to jump up and down on this comment.Commence

    Sorry, but the disingenuous act won’t wash. What matters isn’t the microfilms/microfiche. It’s when they entered the library collections you’ve consulted. Unless you are seriously arguing that the President’s records were altered when he was a child, these anomalies are meaningless.

  22. avatar
    ellid December 6, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    Ladysforest: I offered no explanation ~ simply material.It has been my experience that people will attribuate significance to anything they feel strongly about regardless.I can point out that you yourself have done this regarding my work AND my motivation.
    BTW, MissTickley and I do not collaborate on any research, so I am at a loss as to why you feel a compulsion to tie my research to MissTickley’s activities.But I don’t find your opinion on that to be of any value, good or bad, being based on nothing of substance.It was never my intention to lead readers around by the nose and have them arrive at a particular conclusion.It’s not my business to do so.I do not mislead anyone, or direct them to form a conspiracy, nor to see the research the same way that I do.Why would I“need to show that an innocuous explanation is impossible or at least less likely than a nefarious one.”Why would I NEED to show an explanation of any type at all?I didn’t attempt to explain how the anomalies occured, but I should have attempted to provide an explanation that an innocuous explanation is impossible?I did not create or develop the material, merely collected it.You are free to study it in detail and provide your own theory/explanations.And welcome to do so.
    The research was based on what had already been released to the public, was already picked apart.I had no idea at all what I would, or would not, find when I began.I fully expected it to yield nothing of note.I was wrong about that.Benign and banal if one wishes to view it that way.Interesting and somewhat curious if one wishes to view it that way.More to the point, the material is there, for anyone interested in the subject, to dissect.Regardless of which side of the fence one occupies.Oh, @Daniel ~ since I have my own blog, which was mentioned here, and have said nothing remotely incendiary, I actually don’t fall into the category of “troll”.You have thin skin.

    *snorfle*

    There is no fence in this matter, oh fan of an author who was picked as the GoH at Wiscon before outing herself as a racist. The President was born in Hawaii, and all the alleged anomalies you’ve found will not change this.

  23. avatar
    JohnC December 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    As someone who has frequently used microfilm, I find Ladyforest’s analysis unpersuasive to the extent it suggests any improper tampering.

    For example, she points out that one copy of the birth announcement has a line through it, while another doesn’t. The fact is, microfilm is subject to wear and tear from the machines in which they are operated. If you pull out any random roll of microfilm that has been subject to regular use, you will see wear lines and loss of text.

    The clarity of the text is also affected by the strength of the light bulb, the amount of wear on the text, the focus of the lens, the amount of magnification, and the quality of the reproduction system. That would readily explain why an “i” would look like an “l”, or a period would vanish, between reproductions of the same document from different reels on different machines.

    What her analysis cannot explain is how the font, spacing and alignment of the characters in the comparison images she provided are exactly the same.

  24. avatar
    nbc December 6, 2010 at 12:31 pm #

    What her analysis cannot explain is how the font, spacing and alignment of the characters in the comparison images she provided are exactly the same.

    As is so typical, much emphasis is given to ‘discrepancies’ rather than to the ‘similarities’… Whether it be ‘dust specs’ on a scan of a COLB, or jpeg artifacts, or in this case, minor differences between various micro-fiche printouts, of varying quality, they all ignore that all of these show a clear birth announcement of President Obama in a newspaper of that era.

    As I said before, much ado about nothing, which may explain the original author’s reluctance to draw any inferences, or so she claims.

  25. avatar
    gorefan December 6, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Ladysforest: I offered no explanation ~ simply material.

    She found anomalies in some microfilm copies from a couple of libraries? And the anomalies are in the scratch marks on the film? But the factual contents of the newspaper articles are not different? Has she checked all the libraries that have copies of the Honolulu Advertiser and Star Bulletin? Why waste your time on this, if you are not going to view every single library in the world that has microfilm copies of these newspapers?

    I would suggest that she now needs to go all over the United States and check every single library that has microfilm copies of the Honolulu Advertiser and Star Bulletin. But she better hurry, as she said in her blog, it would be very easy for someone to switch the rolls of film.

  26. avatar
    Sef December 6, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    gorefan: But she better hurry, as she said in her blog, it would be very easy for someone to switch the rolls of film.

    I think someone from Kodak could very easily refute that claim. If it is possible to re-microfilm the newspaper then they would need to have ALL of the ORIGINAL papers on the reel. A splice would be very easy to detect, as would a copy of a copy. There’s the little problem of film batch numbers printed on the film edges which can easily be correlated with filming dates. And film doesn’t last forever, so they would not be using 10- or 20-year old film.

    If it’s microfiche they would need to have all the originals that are on that particular fiche & fiche-to-fiche differences would be quite easy to detect.

  27. avatar
    Bob Weber December 6, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    Sef @2:07pm: I’ve been handling film, including microfilm, for almost 40 years as a professional, and you are correct, with just one qualification. Properly processed film will suffer little or not deterioration on its own, unless it’s in old nitrate film. (Nasty stuff). Modern film is either on a cellulose acetate base (not bad) or better, a polyester base. I have a modern, 100ft. roll of Fuji 35mm polyester-base microfilm sitting in my refrigerator right now. It should be good essentially forever, except for deterioration from handling. Microfilms of newspapers on a particular date may get handled a lot. I wouldn’t be surprised if microfilms of the NYTimes Dec.7, 1941 Late Edition haven’t been replaced many times. Other dates, not so much.

    Keep in mind that if you’re looking at an actual, physical microfilm in a viewer and you see a positive image (black letters on a clear background), you are surely looking at a print of the original microfilm, or a print from a dupe negative, which would be a negative image. There should be edge numbers on the side of a microfilm which would indicate the film stock and batch number, which should give you a rough idea of when the print was made.

    If you’re seeing a computer image from a microfilm, you don’t know if the original was a negative or a print, since it’s a simple matter to reverse values. But it’s probably from a print, unless the source material is a negative in a rare archive.