Glossary: Microforms: Microfiche and Microfilm

There are two types of microform: microfiche and microfilm. They're a method of conserving information using very little space. A "fiche" is a single flat page of film, whereas a "film" is a long roll on a reel. Libraries purchase items in this format because it's a good way to provide access at a relatively low cost.

Microforms contain text or images that are greatly reduced in size, allowing a full book, newpaper, or journal to be included in a small area. A machine called a "reader" is needed to magnify the text for viewing, and these readers can also produce photocopies.

Microforms are kept in the Microform Reading Room on the 2nd (Main) Floor of the library. There are also some special microforms in the MaDGIC Unit (4th floor) and Archives (1st floor). A staff member is usually available to assist users.