The Holland Library Microforms Unit is located on the 1st floor of the library. Take a left down the hallway off the rotunda. Go past the elevators and through the set of double doors. The Holland Library Microforms Unit stores not only microformats, but also art prints, and various maps that you can check out.
"Microforms" is a term for the various books, journals and printed materials that have been photographed in reduced-sized print. The print is so small, it cannot be read with the naked eye. Typical kinds of microforms are:
Microfilm: a long strip or roll of film, usually 35 mm or 16 mm
Microfiche: a sheet of transparent film, usually 4 by 6 inches
Microcard: an opaque card with very small print, usually 4 by 6 inches
Microprint: a larger microcard, usually 6 by 9 inches
Microfilm and microfiche are the two, most commonly used microforms.
You can have paper copies made from microfilm and microfiche using a combination "reader-printer" machine. Reader-printer machines take copy cards you can buy in the Holland Reference Area (1st Floor). As well as having copies of microfilm made, you can also have duplicate microfiche made.
Currently, the Microforms Unit has eight printer-machines to help you make photocopies, and eleven machines you can use to view microform materials.
Libraries purchase microforms both to save space and preserve materials. Many rare or out-of-print items are only available in microform. Most libraries use microform copies of journals to fill in missing issues which are no longer available in print or provide a back-up copy for frequently used titles.
Microforms are usually kept in metal filing cabinets in a special microforms area in each library. The arrangement is first of all by TYPE; for example, microFILM is filed separately from microFICHE. Within each type of filing arrangement, the filing system is by title, author, Library of Congress Classifcation, Dewey Decimals, or one of several other classification systems.
The best place to start to find out if something is in microform is to check on Griffin (the Libraries' online catalog) located in each of the WSU libraries. The term "microfilm," "microfiche," "microcard," or "microprint" will after before the call number or title. Many of the microform collections have printed indexes.