NOTE: Access to Microforms during Fall 2020.

Because of difficulties maintaining social distance and sanitizing the microform machines, contact GIMMS Staff to discuss access to the equipment. In many cases we can simply scan what you need for you. In other cases, we can set up an appointment for you to use the equipment.

About microforms

Microforms are archival quality materials upon which are printed miniature reproductions of anything from newspapers and government records to antique books and personal correspondence. Entire libraries' worth of material can be shrunk down to fit into a few cabinets, which created amazing research opportunities at a time before computer databases were pragmatic.

Unfortunately, microforms are usually in black and white and require special equipment to use.









Finding microforms

Typically, you would find microforms the same way you would find other materials: in IUCat. Some collections require additional guides to understand. For help, ask at the service desk or see our Guides to Microforms page.

Microform readers/scanners

Old microform machines tended to be awkward machines that were difficult to get good prints from. Our modern machines require a computer to use, but are much more powerful and reliable. They don't do direct printing, but create PDFs (and other formats) that you can do anything you please with, including print.

ST ViewScan II

This is one of our new ViewScan machines. If you are not affiliated with the university, you can still obtain a guest account and use them anyway.

Circulation and Inter-Library Loan

We make our collection available to other institutions through Inter-library Loan. You normally welcome to use our machines for borrowed or personally-owed microforms, but due to Corona related building restrictions, please email to discuss how we can help you.

Services and costs

For Fall 2020, library patrons will not be able to use the machines themselves. (See note, above). But in normal times, self-service scans are free, and IU students, faculty and staff can print using their print quotas. Non-IU affiliated patrons can purchase a print quota at the UITS help desk in the Information Commons (1st floor, West Tower).

Regardless of global pandemics, we will scan articles for you, if you use Request Article Delivery, a service available to IU affiliates.

For further information, please contact us at

Return to Government Information, Maps, and Microform Services.