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The American Culture Wars

A guide to library resources for students in Professor Schultz's course (Autumn 2021).

What are Microforms?

Microforms are photographic reproductions, typically of print material, which have been reduced in scale from that which is readable by the unaided eye and transferred to either transparent or opaque materials. Most of the microforms in the University of Chicago Library collection are microfilm and microfiche, which are transparencies.

All microforms require special equipment to view, print, or scan them.

Finding Microforms

Not everything has been digitized! There are many primary source materials that are only available in microforms, especially newspapers, manuscripts, and pamphlets. You may find that a source in the Library catalog [Governmental Control. Detroit: Socialistic Tract Association, 1890]: 

Screen shot of a microfiche record

Here are some examples of microform and microfiche collections in the UChicago Library

Using Microforms

Requesting Microforms

Most UChicago Library microforms may be requested in the Library Catalog via Paging & Pickup and checked out on standard loan.

Using the Microform Scanners

Microform scanners are available in Regenstein's 3rd Floor Reading Room, near the Microforms Collection.

The Library provides ScanPro 3000 digital microform scanners, which work with all microformats.

ScanPro 3000 Instructions

  1. Launch the ScanPro software using the Desktop icon.
  2. In the "Film Selection Wizard" screen, select the appropriate format (e.g. 35mm microfilm, negative microfiche, etc.).
  3. Follow the on screen instructions to load the microform (do not attempt to move the auto-carrier manually).
  4. Use the online controls to view, scan, print, etc. (refer to Quick Start Guide for more information).

The following video from Brigham Young University Library provides an overview of the ScanPro 3000 equipment.

The video should serve the needs of most users, but for advanced features, review the manufacturer's demo (40 minutes).