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Microfilm & Microfiche Usage

Added by Elizabeth Anne Freeman , last edited by John Shatzer on Jun 25, 2013 15:49

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Microfilm & Microfiche?

Microfilm and Microfiche are two types of Microform, which are micro-reproductions of archived documents that are made for [easier] transmission, storage, reading, and printing. Microfilm and Microfiche, which come in reels and flat sheet formats, have been used in libraries since the mid-20th century as a preservation strategy for deteriorating newspaper collections. Books and newspapers that were deemed in danger of decay could be preserved on film and thus access and use could be increased. Microfilming is also a space-saving measure. The Microfilm device readers here at The College of Wooster are attached to computers that have the appropriate software necessary for saving, emailing, and/or printing documents from microfilm.

Microfilm Viewing Capable Locations


Andrews Library has four Microfilm machines, three of which are hooked up to computers running the Adobe Acrobat software. This software allows you to save and print documents from microfilm. The Microfilm Machines are located in Andrews Lower Level 1,the grey filing cabinets which contain the Microfilm reels are in the same area.

Setting Up the Microfilm Machine

1. To begin, turn on the Microfilm machine; the power button is located on the right side of the machine’s monitor in the bottom far left of the side wall of the monitor (see Fig.2 below).

                         ~Figure 2~

2. As the machine is turning on and warming up, you can start to load the reel of film you would like to use. Remove the film from its box, find the loose end, and holding the loose end in your right hand, load the reel onto the left-hand spoke (see Fig. 3).
Note: make sure the reel is pushed all the way to the base of the spoke; otherwise, the reel will run improperly.

                                    ~Figure 3a~
                                    ~Figure 3b~

3. After the reel is mounted, take the free end of the film and slip it between the two layers of glass plating under the magnifying glass. Make sure that film goes under the first white roller before going between the [glass] plates. Once the film end reaches the other edge of the glass, run the film under the second white roller and up towards the receiving spool and spoke unit (see Fig.4). The film end should then be inserted into the slot on the receiving spool, which you can then give a turn to start the winding process.

                                     ~Figure 4a~
                                       ~Figure 4b~ 

4. To start the reels rolling, locate the knob on the right side of the monitor. Turning it to the right “plays” the film; turning it to the left “rewinds” the film back onto its original reel (see Fig.5). As the film passes along, the screen will begin to show the articles/documents; using the controls on the microfilm machine, locate and focus your first image (see Fig.6).



                                    ~Figure 5~
                                        ~Figure 6~

Using the Adobe Software

1. Once you have found the item/image necessary, launch the Adobe Acrobat software by double clicking the desktop shortcut on the computer to the right of the Microfilm machine.

2. The Adobe software will open and you should choose to "Create" then "PDF from Scanner" then "Custom Scan".

3. Then on the next page you have the option of creating a new PDF. Simply press Scan.

4. On the next window you can adjust options like brightness or contrast. Once you are satisfied press "Scan" again.

NOTE: Sometimes when scanning large pictures the computer will automatically put the image in the negative format (the white and black is reversed). To fix this simply change the film type option until the scanned image appears correctly.

5. The Microfile will take a moment to process and then the scanned image will appear on your screen.

6. To add additional scanned files to your PDF, first locate another image you would like scanned. Then choose to "Create" then "PDF from Scanner" then "Custom Scan". This time you should highlight the button that says "Append to existing file or portfolio" and browse for the file you would like to add to. Press "Scan" and then "Scan" again on the following window and you will have multiple images in the same PDF.

Printing Scanned Images

If you would like to print your collection of images, click the print button under the File header and proceed to print normally.

To whom should questions, comments and concerns be addressed?

If you need assistance with this process, contact the Help Desk at 330-287-4357. 

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