Fran Segall's question about alternatives to the NARA microfilms for
Boston arrivals reminds me of my experience at the Washington NARA. After
trying to read an illegible microfilm, I asked an attendant if there were
any other copies. His reply was negative, and he as much as said to
forget about being able to read the film.
After I got back home, I ordered the same microfilm through the local
Mormon library, and was able to read the microfilm that they provided.
So, don't give up; see if the film can be ordered >from another source to
receive a more legible copy.