Q. What is microfilm and microfiche? How can I view it? Can I make copies?

Answered By: Kathryn Ray
Last Updated: Mar 08, 2017     Views: 53

The Technology Desk on the Lower Level of the library is responsible for assisting with the microform collection. Microforms include both microfilm and microfiche. Microform is a tiny photographic or analog reproduction of the actual page of the original.

Microform requires a special magnifying machine to be able to read it. The readers can scan images from microform and produce a pdf of the pages. Staff of the Technology Desk help in locating microforms and using the microform readers. Instructions for using the equipment are posted by the machines. 

Not all microforms are shelved in the library.  Some of the AU microform collection, including microfilm of older issues of the New York Times, is kept in storage at the WRLC Center in Maryland.  To request microform from storage, use the same CLS request form that is used for requesting books through the Consortium. The microform will be delivered to the AU library.

The Library's microform collection includes both 35mm microfilm on a reel and 10 x 14 mm flat microfiche. Fiche is the French word for "card", thus the pronounciation: "microFEESH".

The AU library has an extensive collection of newspapers, AU Dissertations and Theses, ERIC Documents and journals on microform.

Microform is a stable archival storage medium that greatly saves space in the library.  The production of microfilm has been reduced by the availabilty of electronic databases such as ProQuest Historical Newspapers, Dissertations and Theses and JSTOR.

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