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Technology in the Libraries

An overview of technology services and equipment offered by Washington University Libraries.
Microform Scanners & Collections
Location: Level B of Olin Library

There is one ViewScan II and two ViewScan III state-of-the-art microform scanners located on Level B of the Olin Library.


How to Find Microforms

  1. Determine if you are looking for a microfilm, microfiche, or microcard by checking the WU Libraries Catalog.
  2. While looking at the item’s catalog record, make a note of the item’s primary (first) entry in the record. This is most likely the author or title. Also check to see if it is part of a series.
  3. Use the chart below to best determine where your item is located within the collection.
  4. Use signs at the end of each shelf to determine the aisle in which the title is located.
  5. Visit the Interlibrary Loan/Reserves office around the corner from the scanners for assistance finding and viewing microforms. Outside of business hours (Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm), visit the Help Desk on Level 1.


  • Individual titles are often filed under the author’s last name
  • Journals, magazines, and newspapers are filed by title (e.g. New York Times or Time magazine)
  • Items which are part of a series are filed by series title (e.g. STC or Wing reels fall under Early English Books).
Type of microform Description How it is Shelved
Microfiche Approximately 3″x4″ transparent pieces of plastic printed with very small images of documents. Government documents are often printed on fiche. Most fiche are filed alphabetically, by primary entry in the online catalog. Government documents are by the federal government’s classification, or SuDoc, number.
Microcard Opaque cards of various sizes that are printed with very small images of documents. Microcards are filed alphabetically, by primary entry in the online catalog.
Microfilm Approximately 35mm wide rolls of transparent plastic printed with very small images. Microfilm is filed alphabetically, by primary entry in the online catalog.