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Microfilm / Microform Scanners

This guide will introduce you to the various microform readers available on the 2nd floor of the library and how to work with them.

Microforms,, ...fiche, and!

Sometimes, the information that you need is not available digitally or in a traditional printed paper publication, but can be viewed in microform.  This is a great space-saving solution for preserving information, but it will take a little practice (and patience) to work with it! Please use this guide to help you decide what microfilm reader will work best for you, and for some assistance in using the machines.

While this information is meant to help you work with the machines, please do not hesitate to ask staff for assistance in getting started with your microform research!

Image of microfilm reel, box, and microfiche.

Microform publications are any resources have been scaled down and printed on microfilm reels or microfiche. These allow libraries to store large collections of books, newspapers, journals, and other publications without taking up too much space.

Microfilm is the material that is used for reels and microfiche. Usually, when we use the term microfilm, we are referring to the format that can be found on reels.

Microfiche is microfilm that comes in a sheet rather than a reel of film. Most government documents are in microfiche format. 

Ultrafiche is extra-small microfiche that requires a stronger lens for viewing.

Microcards are opaque cards containing scaled down printed publications. While microfilm and microfiche are transparent, microcards are on cardstock paper and need a special magnifying reader in order to be viewed. 


Which machine should I use?

Microform Reader Features
Machine Microfilm Reels Microfiche Microcards Printing Digital Images
Alfred (Canon 800) X X   X  
Moaning Myrtle (Minolta 6000) X     X X
Gene (Minolta 7000) X X   X X
Gaston (ST Imaging ViewScan) X X   X X
Steve Carrel (Indus Super Carrel) X        
Veda (Canon Microprinter 90)   X*   X  
Old Faithful (Microcard Reader)     X    

* The lens on Veda can also be changed so that ultrafiche (extra small microfiche) can be viewed. Please ask library staff for assistance with this. If your microfiche is labeled as "MICRO3" you will need to use this lens.