About Microforms

The microforms are located on the 2nd Floor of the Hekman Library toward the back of the floor. The Meeter Center also has microform collections. Microforms can be in film, fiche, or ultrafiche formats. Sometimes a lens has to be switched out in order to read the material - particularly with ultrafiche. You can always ask a member of our reference staff for assistance. 

MicroFILM is on a reel (35 mm).

MicroFICHE is a small (usually 4x6) plastic card.

ULTRAFICHE is also a small plastic card with individual pages, usually about a 1/4 inch in size. The library's largest collections of this type are the LEL and LAC collections (Library of English LIterature and Library of American Civilization).


Using Microforms

Two machines are provided for use with microforms. 

  • The Canon 800 requires a login to use the scanning software. It has no printing capability, but you can scan and save multiple pages to a file, save, and send them to yourself.
      • guest login is posted on or near the machine (if you are not a member of the Calvin community with a valid Calvin username and passphrase).
      • MS-800 must be turned on BEFORE turning on the computer.
      • you may need to switch out a lens. There are multiple lenses with this machine. See a staff person for assistance with this. We do not leave the lenses out for patrons to interchange themselves.
      • Best option is to save to a flash drive.
      • there is a binder next to the machine that contains further instructions
  • The newer machine is the ScanPro 2000 with an oversized monitor. This is the best machine for viewing large format documents such as newspapers. The ScanPro software is very flexible and enables the user to customize documents in multiple ways. 
      • you must log in as with the Canon in order to use it. Guest login also works on this machine. 
      • you may need help with "threading" the fillm (fiche does not require threading). It's a little tricky, but the binder does provide instructions.
      • you must select the TYPE of format you're working with. This isn't always self-evident, but most microfilm reels are 35mm.
      • no printer is provided, but you can scan multiple pages and save them to a folder on the desktop or create a folder in your personal drive.
      • Best option is to save to a flash drive.
      • Again, there is a binder next to the machine which contains detailed instructions.

These machines can be finicky but help is always available. The best time to get help is when the librarians are in the building. Generally, you can find a librarian on duty from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.