The Cofrin Library has thousands of items that are in a format called microform. Microform documents save space and are an archivally stable format that allows long term preservation of older materials. Most of our microforms are older periodical issues, which are listed in the Cofrin Library Catalog and kept in remote storage.
Many of our federal documents arrive as microforms as well. Since we cannot predict what format we will receive for a specific title, if you do not find a paper copy on the shelf, always check the 5th floor microfiche cabinets.
There are several basic types of microforms you will find in the Cofrin Library. All require special equipment to view them. Most allow reproduction of paper copies of individual pages from the microform. Common types are:
- microfiche (sometimes called "fiche"). This is a flat piece of photographic film, usually about 4 by 6 inches. The individual pages are arranged in rows and reduced in size, usually from 24 times to 48 times their original size. The images can be either positive (black printing on a white background) or negative (white printing on a black background).
- microfilm These are reels of motion picture film, either 16 mm or 35 mm wide, and up to 100 feet in length. Microfilm are usually black printing on a white background.
- microcard (sometimes called "microprint" or "opaque cards"). This is actually microscopic printing on stiff paper, with black print on a white background. Currently the Cofrin Library has equipment for reading microcards, but not for making paper copies.
Described below are collections made up of several individual items. To identify individual titles in the collection or identify where in that collection your item can be found, you will need to consult the individual finding aids listed with the collection.
- Date coverage: 1966-1996 very selective. 1997 to date: everything that was filmed
- Description: This collection is published by the Education Resources Information Center and contains monographs, reports, and books (non-journal literature) in the field of education.
- Location & Arrangement: The fiche are filed by ED number in the cabinets at the back of the third floor. Check the drawers directly for the fiche you need. There may be a slight time lag between the time a report is indexed in the database listed below and arrival of the microfiche.
- Access Tools: The reports are indexed individually with abstracts in the ERIC database, which can be accessed from on-campus through the online databases.
HRAF Collection (Human Relations Area File)
- Date coverage: varies
- Description: This is a collection of primary source materials in anthropology. Cultures and societies in all areas of the world are represented. This collection is still in the process of being published, but newer materials (1994 and newer) are only released electronically (via the Internet). It includes books, journal articles and field research. 25,000+ microfiche
- Location & Arrangement: This collection is housed in cabinets at the back of the Third Floor. The fiche are arranged by the code numbers assigned to cultural groups, then by numbers corresponding to the subject outline, then by sheet number.
- Access Tools:
For detailed instructions on using this collection, see the HRAF Guide. Use the Outline of World Cultures and the Outline of Cultural
Materials (kept in carrel 3c, third floor) to identify the corresponding
code numbers for your cultural group and topic. Many of the individual books
included in this collection are listed in the Cofrin
Library Catalog with a call number that says "HRAF". To locate
the full text of a specific work within the HRAF collection, first go to the HRAF Source Bibliography kept in carrel 3c on the Third Floor. Look
up your author's name in the author index in the back of volume 2 and note
the letters & numbers after the name.
- EX: Huang, Shu-Min AD5-52 The "AD5" refers to the code assigned to this cultural group. The number after the hyphen indicates the sequence number where the text will be found within subject category 116. So, in this example you would first find the drawer with the "AD5" microfiche, then the sheets with subject category 116, then go to publication number 52.
NTIS (National Technical Information Service) microfiche (some microfilm)
- Date Coverage: varies; late 1960's to date.
- Description: These are scientific and technical reports resulting from government research contracts. Some are by government agencies and some are from private contractors. 3,100+ microfiche
- Location and Arrangement: microfiche cabinets in government publications collection, 5th floor. Arranged by NTIS report number.
- Access Tools: There is a listing arranged by report number in the map card catalog at the back of the 5th floor. Subject and author access to the reports is through the Government Reports Announcements Index REF GVP US C 51.9/4: There is no title index.
American Periodical Series 2
- Date coverage: 1800-early 1900's (coverage varies by title)
- Description: Selective collection of U.S. periodicals published between 1800 and the early 1900's. It includes famous titles such as Godey's Lady's Book and the St. Nicholas magazine for children as well as many virtually unknown titles. Individual titles are not listed in the online catalog. 1,498 reels
- Location & Arrangement: Fourth floor microfilm cabinets, before the A's, arranged by reel number.
- Access Tools: American Periodicals 1741-1900, An Index to the Microfilm Collections Ref Desk PN 4877 A52 1979x or Fourth floor microfilm cabinets. This provides a title index to the periodicals in the collection and their film reel number, as well as a reel number index. The subject index provides general access to individual journal titles, not to individual articles. Although the index describes all 3 sets in the American Periodical Series, we only have set 2.
Underground Newspaper Collection
- Date coverage: 1965-1970
- Description: This is a collection of various underground newspapers including the Los Angeles Free Press, the Berkeley Barb, and the Milwaukee Kaleidoscope. 33 reels.
- Location & Arrangement: Fourth Floor "Miscellaneous Microfilm" cabinet; arranged by reel number.
- Access Tools: Individual newspapers in this collection are listed in the Cofrin Library Catalog. Individual articles in these newspapers are not indexed. To determine which roll contains the title and year that you are interested in browsing, consult the Underground Newspapers on Microfilm Index and the Underground Newspaper Microfilm Collection Table of Contents. Both are kept on top of the "miscellaneous microfilms" cabinet on Fourth Floor.
United States Reports
- Date Coverage: 1789-1969
- Description: Decisions of the United States Supreme Court. 89 reels
- Location & Arrangement: Third Floor, REF GVP US Ju 6.8: chronological (volume, then page number)
- Access Tools: The United States Supreme Court Digest REF GVP US JU 6.8/X: provides subject and case name access.
American State Papers
- Date Coverage: 1789-1838
- Description: Contains early reports and documents of the U.S. Congress. 2 boxes.
- Location & Arrangement: Fifth floor, GVP US Y 1.1/1X: Arranged in ten major subject categories, then by volume number and document number.
- Access Tools: CIS U.S. Serial Set Index REF GVP US Y 1. 1/2-5X: provides subject and keyword access
English and American Drama of the Nineteenth Century
- Date Coverage: 1801-1900
- Description: Full-text of thousands of early plays. English drama, 46 boxes; American drama, 26 boxes
- Location & Arrangement: Fourth Floor, on top of the microfilm cabinets. The set is split first into English and American plays. Then each set is arranged alphabetically by author, then by play title.
- Access Tools: Searchable by author or title in the Cofrin Library Catalog .
Landmarks of Science
- Date Coverage: ancient times to early 1900's
- Description: This set contains key scientific works, other than journal articles, from ancient times to the early 1900's. The emphasis tends to be on the history of science, and the works are in their original language and are not necessarily translated into English. 148 boxes
- Location & Arrangement: Fourth floor, on top of the microfilm cabinets. Arranged alphabetically by author, then title.
- Access Tools: Individual works are cataloged and searchable in the Cofrin Library Catalog.
Three Centuries of Drama (Three Centuries of English & American Plays)
- Date Coverage: English drama 1500-1800; American drama 1714-1830
- Description: Over 4,000 early plays, 1500-1830. English drama: 24 boxes; American drama 2 boxes
- Location & Arrangement: Fourth floor, on top of the microfilm cabinets. The set is first divided into English or American drama. Plays are then arranged alphabetically by author, then title.
- Access Tools: Each play is cataloged and searchable by author or title in the Cofrin Library Catalog. You may also consult Three Centuries of English and American Plays: A Checklist Z 2014 D7 B45, which is shelved on top of the microfilm cabinets, Fourth Floor. This provides title and author information about the plays included.
US Serial Set
- Date Coverage: 1817-1889
- Description: reports and documents of the U.S. Congress. Many executive agency reports are reprinted here in the Serial Set. 131 boxes
- Location & Arrangement: Fifth floor, GVP US Y 1.1/2: Arranged by volume number then by report number within the volume. NOTE: sequential reports may be in different volumes, as in earlier years these reports were grouped together in bound volumes by size. Consult the access tools below to identify the volume you need.
- Access Tools: CIS U.S. Serial Set Index REF GVP US Y 1. 1/2-5X: provides subject and keyword access.
rev. 10 Aug 2010