Photographs and Illustrations:
Photographs and illustrations are documents which provide a visual or pictorial representation of a person, place or situation which words fail to describe or find hard to depict. Words cannot tell what Pandit Nehru looked like, only his photograph can do that. Words cannot describe the Kumbha mela in progress at Hardwar or the Burning Ghats of Banaras or the Taj Mahal of Agra as accurately as their respective photographs can. Similarly, a complicated subject may be easily explained by a simple illustration. Graphical representation is always helpful in making readers grasp textual matter easily. A radio or television set cannot be assembled without the help of its drawings. Nor can a building be constructed unless the architect's plan is made available to the engineer. These documents, therefore, form an important part of a library collection.
Microforms are those documents which embody thought in a reduced form that cannot be read with the naked eye. They require some device for reading. They comprise microfilms, microfiche, and micro-opaques. These documents are now common in libraries. The reasons for heir popularity are: (1) Micro-forms reduce the bulk of documents and help the libraries save considerable space. (2) Out-of-print documents which are either not easily available or too expensive in the original form can be easily acquired in micro-form (3) Documents in original are too bulky to be transported rapidly. Micro forms, greatly reduced in bulk, are more suitable for easy and quick transportation, as also for airlifting. (4) A readable photocopy can be prepared from a microform easily.
Microforms are available indifferent varieties and dimensions. Their organisation and maintenance also requires .special care.