Answered By: Rob Scheuering
Last Updated: Jun 26, 2022     Views: 34459

The Library has a microfilm/fiche reader and scanner available for patrons to use; this machine is located in the Music Collection. You can use the reader to view, save, print, and email yourself images from microfilm/fiche.

Microfilm is a 35mm film on which printed materials are photographed at greatly reduced size for ease of storage. The digital lens on the microfilm reader enlarges the image, allowing you to read the contents.

Microfiche is a card made of transparent film used to store printed information in miniaturized form. To read the card, one places it under the lens of a microfiche reader machine, which magnifies it.

The Library's Microfilm / Microfiche collections are in the following locations:

Main Floor – Music Collection: Microfilm journals A-Z (including New York Times, and Times of London)

Lower Level – Outside Compact Storage Room: Microfiche

Available by Request from Circulation Desk (In Storage): Congressional Record/Globe, Government Documents Microfilm and Microfiche

Microfilm reader next to a computer displaying new york times on microfilm



How to Use the Microfiche/film Reader:

Powering On

1. Make sure the computer and the Scan Pro 1100 reader is on. Turn on the power switch on the back of the Scan Pro 1100 until the green light comes on.

2. Open the PowerScan program from the Desktop or Windows Programs menu.

Power Scan 1100 desktop shortcut icon


Power Scan 1100 shortcut highlighted on Windows desktop.

3. Choose your desired film type. Our Library has 35mm microfilm and positive microfiche. You may switch film types at any time by choosing the film selection wizard at the top of the menu.


Loading Film

1. Extend the load tray fully by pulling it forward until the glass portion of tray lifts 45 degrees.

  • For microfiche: Place the microfiche sheet directly on the glass tray
  • For 35mm microfilm: When load tray is fully extended, a load guide will appear on screen. This animated guide shows you how to feed the film through machine

    Power Scan 1100 film-loading animation.
  • After film has been loaded, click the high speed fast forward button to advance film to desired slide.

2. Push the load tray back into position until the glass panel closes. Adjust the tray by moving it left, right, forward or back to begin viewing the microfilm/fiche. Once an image appears on screen, it is in position. (Tray may not need to be fully locked into position to view slide.) At this point you may begin focusing slide for better image.


Adjusting Slides

Depending on the type of film you have selected, some options will or will not be available to you.

  • If you are using either positive or negative microfiche, you will not be able to fast forward or rewind. To view different slides within the microfiche, physically move the load tray in any direction, as needed.
  • If you are using 35mm microfilm, use the fast forward, rewind, and slider controls that appear on the computer screen. 
  • To adjust the image, use tools in the "Adjust" tab on left side (auto brightness, focus, zoom, magnifier etc )


Saving Scans

The green-dotted border around the images is your “file space.” This "file space" represents the image you would like to save or print and can be adjusted as needed.

1. Make sure the image you wish to save fits into the file space.

2. Select the "Output" tab on the left-side menu

3. Choose "Scan to Drive" and create a filename and destination for your scan. By default scans are saved to the "My Scans" folder on the Desktop. We recommend saving your scans directly to a USB flash drive instead.

4. Next, choose a file type. Scans can be saved to many different file types. 

  • For printing, choosing PDF or OCR-readable PDF is your best option.
  • OCR-readable PDF is ideal if you wish to make an accessible scan
  • If you select multi-page PDF, you will be given the option to add multiple scans to a single file.

6. Once your scans are saved, you can add them to a USB flash drive or email them to yourself.



To print the file you've just created...

  • Open up the file you've saved, just as you would do with any other document.
  • Print using the File>Print menu options. The standard printing prompts will come up. 
  • Printed images will go to Xerox_Reference_BW, the black & white printers in the Reference Area of the Library.


To print without saving a file... 

  • Select the "Output” tab from the left-side menu in the PowerScan application.
  • Choose “Printer #1” from the Output menu. The standard printing prompts will come up, and you can print to Xerox_Reference_BW.

Finishing Up

  • Please remove all image files you saved to the computer. Saved images will be deleted periodically.
  • When you are finished, pull the tray all the way forward and use the control menu to rewind the microfilm reel. If using microfiche, you can simply remove the fiche from the glass tray.
  • You may return any microfilm/fiche that are checked out to you at the Circulation Desk. If you did not check out the microfiilm/fiche but simply retrieved it from the cabinets, please place it on the shelving cart in the Music Collection. Please do not reshelve the microfiche/film yourself. 
  • Don't forget your USB flash drive or your print-outs!