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Last updated: 10/12/11


The Microform Area is located on the second floor of the University Library in Kingston, just outside the Media Resource Center. (Government publications and technical reports on microform are located on the first floor of the University Library.) Materials on microform and equipment for reading and printing microforms are also available at the URI Providence Campus Library and the Pell Marine Science Library.

Selected back issues of some journals and newspapers, dissertations, and books are on microform. Equipment for reading and copying these microforms is also located in the Microforms Area.

The Microform Area is open during normal Library hours.

Types of microforms
Microform is a generic term for any medium — transparent or opaque — bearing reduced-size images of pages from paper copy. There are three major types:

  • Microfilm: film bound on a reel bearing a number of microimages in linear array
  • Microfiche: card-sized sheets of film bearing a number of microimages in a two-dimensional array
  • Microprint: microimages printed on photographic paper

Major microform collections
Besides back issues of periodicals, the Library holds a number of major microform collections. So of these titles include:

  • American Culture Series
  • American Prose Fiction
  • British Sessional Papers
  • Early English Books (Pollard’s)
  • Resources in Education (ERIC documents)
  • Landmarks of Science
  • Early British Books (Wing’s)

How to use microform

  1. Microform material is listed in the HELIN library catalog with one of the following abbreviations in place of a call number: MFICHE, MFILM, or MPRINT.
  2. Once you have determined that the material you need is in microform format, consult the item record to find the location and section. MFILM are sections 1 through 4.  Section 1 Newspapers, Section 2 Periodicals, Section 3 Special Collections, and Section 4 Theses and Dissertations. MFICHE and MPRINT are in sections 5 through 7. All items are filed in alphabetical order by title of the publication for periodicals, or by author for books and dissertations.
  3. Retrieve the needed reel(s) of film and/or sheet(s) of microfiche and take to a reader/printer.
  4. When you are finished, please do not refile any material — place the material in the return boxes.

Special equipment must be used for reading or copying microforms.

Library staff and student assistants working in the Media Resource Center are available to help you locate microforms and operate readers and printers. Please ask for assistance at the Circulation Desk if the Media Resource Center is closed.

Contact information
For more information about microforms, please contact the Media Resource Center at (401) 874-4267.

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