Are microfiches in libraries


Microfiche readerMicrofilm reader

Microforms are analog images of printed originals reduced on film material or digital information filmed directly on the medium. Invented and patented as early as 1858, the microforms were accompanied by “euphoria and skepticism” (1) from the start. In the 20th century, microforms gradually found their way into libraries. The most important microforms turned out to be microfilm (roll film) and microfiche (flat film with sheets of film measuring 10.5 by 14.8 centimeters). Initially only used for handwriting as a gentle intermediate carrier for paper copies, the development of suitable reading devices also enabled direct use by the user. (2)

Microforms at the UB

The catalog of the Regensburg University Library was produced in microfiche form from 1974 to 1998. Microfilms are also a cost-effective and space-saving alternative to printed matter for other publications. The media holdings of the Regensburg University Library today contain almost 100,000 microforms, more than half of which are dissertations.
Most of the large data or image collections that used to be available on microfilms are now offered as online databases. Digitization has also largely replaced microforms as a form of archiving for newspapers and magazines. At the computer one is no longer dependent on a microfilm reader and the searchability of the full text also has clear advantages.

dagmar super "A" portable microfilm reader (inventory no. 2 of the University of Regensburg)

Dissertations as microforms

While many doctoral theses were submitted on microfiche at the university in the year since the filming was more cost-effective than producing numerous printed copies, it is now possible to obtain the required number of printed copies (e.g. 100 according to the doctoral regulations of the law faculty) (3) through an accompanying Reduce online publication as PDF file (then only 20 copies).

Long-term archiving in the Barbarastollen

Microforms are still considered a space-saving and long-term form of long-term archiving and are also used for hybrid archiving, i.e. for secondary archiving in addition to digitization. 28,000 kilometers of microfilms with around 850 million recordings of national and cultural historical significance are stored in the Barbarastollen of the former Schauinsland mine near Freiburg im Breisgau for long-term archiving and securing of cultural-historical documents. (4)

(1) Gert Hagelweide. Introduction. In: Microforms and Library. Munich 1977. pp. 11-14.
(2) Gert Hagelweide. German libraries and microforms. History and reality. In: Microforms and Library. Munich 1977. pp. 17-36.
(3) Doctoral regulations of the Faculty of Law. Text of these regulations in the version dated February 10, 2011. (accessed on April 10, 2012).
(4) Margit Lauber-Reymann. Information resources. Berlin 2010. p. 110.