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Microforms: Home

Collections Overview

The UC San Diego Library holds a number of unique collections available in microfilm, microfiche, or micro card formats. These include select newspapers, journals, government documents, technical reports, and other materials of special interest to UC San Diego researchers and/or in support of UCSD academic programs and curricula. Major collections include the Underground Newspaper Collection, The Spanish Civil War Collection, large sets of archival materials of the Melanesian and Pacific Island Studies collection, and many items supporting global studies and physical sciences & engineering. (For a visual introduction to micro films, fiche, and cards, see this helpful guide from Penn State University Libraries.)

Call Numbers & Locations

Most users will identify microforms of interest after using UC Library Search to search for specific topics or titles, such as the search below for "underground newspapers." The location information, shown here in the red box, includes the micro call number (XF 45).






Most call numbers for microforms begin with the letter X and indicate the format type:

XF, XEF, XIF Microfilm On 35mm or 16mm reels
X, XX, XEX, XIX Microfiche Flat transparencies
XP Micro card Non-transparent, cardboard cards (can be viewed only with the microform scanning equipment)

There are exceptions to the X call number rule, such as the government documents microfilm (Federal Register) below that uses the standard Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) call number.

Microform materials, and the equipment to view/scan/print them, are generally located on the main floor of Geisel in the west wing; the collections are to the far right after entering the west wing. Some are stored at the library annex and can be requested for delivery to Geisel.

If an item you requested from another library through Interlibrary Loan or from the library annex is in micro format, the item will be made available for you at the Geisel Front Desk for use in the micro equipment area.

Scanning & Printing

Microform scanners require log-in with your AD account. If you need assistance using the equipment, or if you don't have an AD account and need to be logged in, please contact staff in the Geisel Service Hub.

A series of brief instructional videos on YouTube may also be helpful: an introduction (1:13), how to find your place (1:56), and how to adjust images (2:36).

Printing from scanners is available using Wēpa self service printing.