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Microform Collections (Film and Fiche): Getting Started

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Tips - Using the Collection

The library currently has three units available for scanning, reading, printing, and saving microform documents.

  • Minolta MS6000 - has been moved to Heritage Hall. HH staff can help with any equipment-related questions.
  • Canon MS800 with computer attached. Computer runs ecopy software. By means of this software, the user can scan multiple pages of fiche or film to a file for saving, downloading or emailing. Printing is not enabled on this machine since the college migrated to UniFLOW. Users must log into computer to use software. Visitors are able to log in using the visitor login and special password.
  • ScanPro2000 with oversized monitor, computer attached. Computer runs PowerScan software. This equipment is ideal for all size formats, particularly newspapers. Can do everything that the Canon can. Many added features such as magnifier function, and spot-edit tools to eliminate spots in the original. Does not print (see comment above).

Equipment is located at the back of the 2nd floor in the Cayvan Recorded Media area. Help is available from reference staff. 

What are microforms?

Microforms are images which have been reduced in scale from that which is readable by the unaided eye and transferred to either transparent or opaque materials. Most of the microforms in the Hekman Library are microfilm and microfiche, which are transparencies.

  • Microfilm is produced in long strips, like motion picture film, and comes in 16 and 35-millimeter sizes. The microfilm strips are loaded on to reels, similar to motion picture film reels, although much smaller. The reels are placed in acid-free boxes, which are labeled with call numbers and limited bibliographic information. These boxes are placed in large cabinets, and each cabinet drawer can hold up to 80 reels.

  • Microfiche are transparencies that come in either 3" x 5" or 4" x 6" sheets. The microfiche in the library's collection are organized in their drawers alphabetically according to the main title of the eaach collection. Our major collections of microfiche are in the area of the American West.

  • Opaque microforms include microcards, which are 3" x 5" and microprint, which are 6" x 9". Opaques can have images on both sides while microfilm and microfiche, as transparencies, can have images on only one side. The library no longer owns microcards, with the exception of the Meeter Center on the 4th floor. 

  • Ultrafiche is film with magnification ratios larger than 60. The only collections in this format which the library owns are the LAC (Library of American Civilization) and the LEL (Library of English Literature).