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What are Microforms?

A Microform is a photographic reproduction of any material in a size too small to be read without magnification. It provides a way for libraries to collect material too old, bulky, or valuable to collect in the original forms, for example books, periodicals, dissertations, pamphlets, newspapers, manuscripts, government documents, etc.
Typical formats include microfilm (reels) and microfiche (flat sheets).
Microfilm is a photographic film on a reel containing images that have reduced in size.  Microfilm reels can be found in the cabinets on the Lower Level of Stauffer Library and are organized mainly by call number (or microfilm number).
Microfiche is a flat, plastic sheet containing images, that have being reduced in size and need to be read on special machines. Microfiche is filed by number order and are housed in cabinets on the Lower Level of Stauffer Library.
Microcards are opaque 3 x 5 inch cards and are located on the Lower Level of Stauffer.Library. 

Finding Microforms

Microform reels are kept within cabinets such as these.
Most of the microfilm and microfiche collections are shelved in call number or numerical  order in filing cabinets on the lower level of Stauffer Library or in compact shelving on the fourth floor.            
Search Omni for microforms by using a keyword or title search. To identify a microform in a library record, note the following: 
  • in the holdings information, the location is microfilms or microforms 
  • the Full Details area may include type: microfilm, microfiche, etc.
Some sets have guides and indexes published with the collections and can be accessed by the name of the set or some by the individual works in the set.  

Reading, Copying, & Scanning

Equipment for reading, photocopying, and scanning microforms is available on the lower level and ground floor of Stauffer Library. Please look for ScanPro 2000 on our Scanning page.
There are microfilm and microfiche readers. There is one opaque card viewer in the Stauffer Library Microforms area. The cards can also be viewed and rendered into a digital format on the ScanWrite ST200 Microforms scanner in the Maps and Air Photos reading room.
Assistance with finding microforms or using the equipment is provided by the information Services staff.