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Microforms: What are they?
Microforms are simply miniaturized copies of written documents. The term 'microforms' actually refers to several different miniaturization formats. The following are the four types of microform material found in Hale Library:
- Microfilm - a 35mm strip of transparent film that is wrapped around a small reel (just like old movies!)
- Microfiche - a transparent card that is usually 4x6 inches.
- Microcard - a non-transparent card that is usually the same size as a 3x5 inch notecard.
- Microprint - a larger non-transparent card. Normally 5x7 inches
Some of the materials included in our microform collections are historical newspapers, ERIC (education) documents, historical children's books, pamphlets, letters, and many government publications.
Ask a librarian if you think you need to use microform material. In addition to helping you find the individual items, they may be able to help you find the document on the internet in a more readily accessible format.
The idea behind transforming a document into microform material is to save physical space in the library and help preserve information from physical decay. This also means that the only way to read through these materials is to use a special machine. We have a microform reader on the 2nd floor of Hale Library near Library Help, and several more on the 3rd floor.