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What is microfilm/microfiche and how can I find it?

Last Updated: Oct 11, 2012  |  256 Views
Topics: General

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Imagine taking photographs of an entire issue of a newspaper. Now imagine those images as teeny tiny negative copies so small you can fit an entire newspaper on a single reel of plastic sheeting. The images are so small you need a huge magnifier to read the images, but now you can fit years and years of a newspapers into a small cabinet instead of using up an entire basement. That's microfilm!

Microfilm image from OSU Special Collections & Archives

Now imagine the same thing, but in a small sheet instead of in a roll. That's microfiche!

Image of Microfiche by Mr. T. in DC

Microfilm and Microfiche are referrred to jointly as microform. Pius Library (like many other libraries) use microform to store a lot of content in a small space. In our collection of microforms you'll find all the back issues of the New York Times, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, primary sources, historical books, government documents and much more. All of our microforms can be found on the lower level of Pius Library, and are included in the SLU Libraries Catalog. Most of them are organized by Library of Congress call number, just like our books. The Government Documents and some special collections are organized using different call numbers, but they're all in cabinets together on the lower level near the current periodicals.

To use microforms, you'll need to find the microfilm or microfiche you want and then bring it up to level one of Pius Library where you'll find a fancy microform reader that will let you read, print and/or scan as many pages as you need. The machine will read both microfilm and microfiche and can be found in the computer lab area of the iCommons.

Answered by Rebecca HydeBookmark and Share

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