Microform is a generic term that refers to materials, whether transparent or opaque, that require magnification in order to be read. At the Marriott Library we use the term to refer to three different formats: microfiche, microfilm and microopaque. The principal attraction of microforms is their compact nature -- the full text of a 700-page book can be printed on a single sheet only three inches high and five inches wide. Although that is an extreme example, you get the general idea -- microforms take up a lot less space than the same works printed on paper. It shouldn't surprise you, then, to learn that the Marriott Library actually has more items in microform than it does in paper.
Our microform collection covers a wide variety of subjects, but the largest component consists of publications of various agencies of the federal government.
Most of the library's microfiche collection is located in cabinets at the south end of Level 2, at the beginning of the book stacks, and is self-serve (though we are happy to help you find what you need). Most of the microfilm collection is housed in the ARC [Automated Retrieval Center], the library's on-site high-density storage facility, and each reel must be requested individually. Once retrieved from the ARC (usually within 10 to 15 minutes) microfilm is delivered to the Reserve Desk on Level 2. Most of the microopaque collection is also housed in the ARC.
If you need help with microforms, please contact the reference librarian on the second floor of the Knowledge Commons, or contact Robert Behra, who's contact info is on the left side of this page.