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Microform Collections (Film and Fiche): Getting Started

Tips - Using the Collections

The library currently has two units available for reading, scanning, and saving.

  • Canon MS800 with computer attached. Computer runs ecopy software. The user can scan multiple pages of fiche or film to a file for saving, downloading or emailing. Printing is not enabled. Users must log into the computer to use the software. Visitors or guests may log in using the visitor login and passphrase which is taped to the keyboard. A guide for use of the equipment is placed next to the machine.
  • ScanPro2000 with oversized monitor, computer attached. Computer runs PowerScan software. This equipment is ideal for all size formats, particularly newspapers. There are many added features such as magnify, focus, rotate and more, as well as spot-edit tools to eliminate spots in the original. No printing provided.

Equipment is located at the back of the 2nd floor in the Cayvan Recorded Media area. Help is available from reference staff and/or Cayvan 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. All of the microforms in the Hekman Library are either fiche or film, which are transparent.

  • 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 by title. 

  • 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).