*New Date Announced!* An Evening with the Zakar Twins, Authors of Pray the Gay Away


The ULS Library is proud to sponsor an evening lecture on two upcoming dates in February for two evenings with the Zakar Twins:

Philadelphia Campus, Wednesday, February 27 at 7 pm

Gettysburg Campus, Thursday, February 28 at 7 pm


Models, writers, entrepreneurs, leaders in the LGBTQ+ community, and lovable goofballs Michael and Zach Zakar are known not only for their identical good looks but for trailblazing a path forward for queer people who come from Near and Middle Eastern cultures. As smart as they are funny, the pair penned a 66,000-word memoir called Pray the Gay Away: a dual-account tragicomedy about growing up with deeply religious Iraqi immigrant parents. The book has recently been adapted into a play, touring around the USA Fall 2019.

The events are free & open to the public with a reception to follow. Contact Library Director, Evan Boyd at eboyd@uls.edu, for more information.


Microfilm or Digital?

Digital records allow researchers to access a variety of documents at any time and from any place. Having records digitized saves on physical space for institutions and prevents human contact from degrading the artifact’s material. Microfilm offers longer life than paper records, smaller storage needs, and is surprisingly easy to use. However, both forms of storage have disadvantages. Let’s go over some of the pros and cons of each.




  • Can be stored in rolls (microfilm) or flat (microfiche)
  • Stores images in a smaller format that can be enlarged for use.
  • The process to create microfilm images generally does not destroy the original
  • Microfilm cuts down on the handling of fragile documents
  • Once created, microfilm can be easily reproduced
  • Microfilm is not digital, so there are no online storage costs
  • Microfilm was deliberately designed to have a long shelf life
  • Technically, you only need a lens and a light source to use this


  • User interface can be hard to use
  • While text is generally fine, images often have resolution issues
  • Microfilm projectors are increasingly hard to find (the same problem exists for repairs)
  • Accessibility to users




  • Can be made accessible to a wide audience
  • Can create a record of an artifact that is in danger of becoming unusable (due to age or fading, for example)
  • Can serve as examples of what your organization has to offer (serves as outreach)
  • Can be backed up digitally (in a cloud)
  • Artifacts are safe from physical dangers such as pest, mold, water, etc…


  • Changing technology could make accessing digital artifacts problematic (What if the file format changes? What if a new operating system no longer uses the type of document that you’ve saved all your artifacts with.  Think of floppy discs.)
  • The cost of on-line storage can be prohibitive. Don’t want to store on-line?  Then your organization loses the benefit of accessibility.
  • It also costs time to make digital copies of original records
  • Multiple back-ups are needed, some should be off-line
  • Records could be prone to tampering, deletion, or corruption
  • Some records cannot be digitized due to frailness or their composition (silvering on photographs)
  • Records are likely not in their original order and thus lose their context or provenance
  • You must make sure you have the proper permission to share your digitized information. Some records should never be shared, some can be shared with permission.


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The Region 8 Archives at A.R. Wentz Library in Gettysburg, PA

The United Lutheran Seminary A.R. Wentz Library is located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and houses both the Seminary Archives and Region 8 Archives.

The Seminary Archives contains materials relating to the history and day-to-day operations of the Seminary. It also houses papers from the Rev. Samuel Simon Schmucker (the founder of the Seminary) and those donated by former professors, presidents, and alumni.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Region 8 Archives is the official repository for five synods of ELCA Region 8: Allegheny Synod, Delaware-Maryland Synod, Lower Susquehanna Synod, Metropolitan Washington D.C. Synod, and Upper Susquehanna Synod.

If you are interested in local Lutheran history, the Region 8 Archives is the place to be! Keep reading to learn more about the Region 8 Archives.

Continue reading The Region 8 Archives at A.R. Wentz Library in Gettysburg, PA

What’s an Archives and Why Should I Care?

This blog post is post 1 of a 6-part series answering the most common questions about the Seminary and Region 8 Archives and archival practice written by summer intern, Anne-Louise Monn. Click here for the introductory post to learn more about the goal and scope of the project.

Have you heard the term archives before, but don’t really know what it is? Do you lump it in the same category as a library, museum, or historical society? Keep reading to learn more!

Continue reading What’s an Archives and Why Should I Care?