Microfilm & Microfiche
Before digital storage became easy and cheap, microfilm was a way for libraries to maintain large collections of newspapers, government documents, and historical documents while saving physical storage space. The UC Berkeley Libraries still have extensive microform (microfilm and microfiche) collections, containing valuable information for researchers.
Since each roll of microfilm contains thousands of tiny images of the original pages of a document, you'll need a microfilm reader to magnify the images enough to read them. The UC Berkeley Newspapers and Microforms Department (40 Doe Library) has machines that read, print, and scan images from microfilm and microfiche.
Microfilm and microfiche owned by the UC Berkeley Libraries can be found through OskiCat; use Advanced Keyword Search to limit your search to "All Microforms." In the News/Micro collection, microfilm rolls and microfiche cards are shelved with their own numbering system; click here for a PDF of the collection's floorplan.
Newspapers and Microforms Collection
If the library location in OskiCat says "Newspapers and Microforms" it is referring to the Newspapers and Microforms Collection, 40 Doe Library.
To get there, enter the north entrance of Doe Library (the side facing Memorial Glade and the East Asian Library). Walk straight ahead until you reach the marble stairs; do NOT take the stairs, but instead turn right and go down the hall until you see stairs to the basement. (There is an elevator around the corner). Once you go down the stairs or elevator, the entrance to the Newspapers and Microforms collection should be directly in front of you.
The collection's hours are 10-7 M-Th, 10-5 on Fridays. The collection is not open on weekends, and microfilm cannot be checked out.
There are a limited number of machines -- please plan ahead! Be sure to bring a flash drive so you can save scanned copies of the microfilm to your disk. Scanning is free, but printing from the microfilm reader/printers is 10 cents a page. You MUST use your Cal1 card to pay for printing.
In the News/Micro collection, microfilm rolls and microfiche cards are shelved with their own numbering system; click here for a PDF of the collection's floorplan.
Don't hesitate to ask for help! The News/Micro staff are experts in the use of the machines.
Loading Microfilm: The Movie!
This short video from the University of Kansas Libraries shows a very similar microfilm reader to the ones owned by UC Berkeley -- but it is not exactly the same. If you have any questions, please ask the staff of the Newspapers and Microforms collection!
Scanning from Microfilm
You can save images from microfilm or microfiche to your flashdrive, in pdf or tiff format. You can use the scanning process to improve, crop or otherwise adjust the image-- very useful for old, scratched microfilm.