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How Do I Use Microform Equipment

Quick tutorial on using the microform (microfilm / microfiche) scanners, courtesy of University of Victoria Libraries, provided under a Creative Commons Attribution.

What are Microforms?


Microform is a general term for an item, cardboard or film containing miniaturized images of the original document. For example, one microform can contain a whole year's worth of newspapers — or more! Specialized equipment must be used to view or copy items from a microform.

Picture of different microform types.

The two most common types are microfiche (thin sheets containing multiple images per sheet) and microfilm (reels of film containing multiple images). The third form is microopaques (microcard and microprint) which are similar to microfiche, except on cardboard.

Ohio State University Libraries Collection

The Ohio State University Libraries microform collection contains over 3.4 million microfiche and 64 thousand microfilm reels with about 20% of it being housed in the Microform Reading Room - room 215 Thompson. The collection includes newspapers and periodicals, as well as statistical data, government reports, standards, etc. Check out highlights of OSU Libraries collection to see some of the more interesting items we have available.

Viewing Equipment

Equipment for viewing microforms, as well as recent newspapers and a portion of the microform collection is located in the Microform Reading Room, in Room 215 on the second floor of Thompson Library. The YouTube video "Using the Microform Scanner" will give you a quick tutorial on how to use the equipment in the Microform Reading Room. Microforms housed in remote storage at our Depository can generally be retrieved within 24 hours of request.

Hours and Availability

During the semester, the Microform Reading Room is staffed from 9 am - 8 pm, Monday through Thursday, 9-5 on Friday and 1-6 on Sundays. During the summer and breaks, please call ahead to inquire about hours. The equipment is available on a first come, first served basis. If others are waiting to use the equipment, there is a one hour time limit.

Need Help With Microforms?

Mary Ries
Microforms and Government Information
Thompson Library room 211
The Ohio State University
1858 Neil Avenue Mall
Columbus, Ohio 43210-1285
(614) 688-8770

Looking for Newspapers / Articles?

Are you looking for newspapers or news articles in microformat? See our newspaper guide for information about our newspaper collection.

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