NEW scanners have proved to be a hit with local historians.

State-of-the-art digital microfilm scanners have been installed by North Yorkshire County Council at libraries in Harrogate, Scarborough, Selby, Northallerton, Ripon, and Skipton to help family and local historians.

The Konica SL1000 machines make it easier for users to view resources on microfilm and microfiche, with a large touchscreen monitor, and a movable magnifier to make small text more legible.

County Councillor Greg White, Executive member for library and information services, said: "North Yorkshire libraries hold hundreds of rolls of microfilm covering many of the main local newspaper titles dating from 1836 up to the present day, as well as full Census returns for the whole county up to 1901.

"Some libraries hold trade directories, parish registers and local government records on fiche, too. The new scanners should make accessing these important collections much easier and I’m delighted to hear that the machines are already such a hit with the public."