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Services: Using the Collection

Reference Services

Specialized reference assistance for newspaper research, accessing microformed sources, database searching and other related fields is available. Individual and group orientations can be arranged by contacting Glenda Pearson, Head of the Microform and Newspaper Collections or Jessica Albano, Communication Studies librarian.

A number of electronic news databases are available that provide either citations or full text to a wide number of news sources, including television, radio and wire news transcripts, as well as many print based newspapers. Retrospective databases include The Pennsylvania Gazette (full text of the colonial American newspaper articles, 1727-1749) and an electronic version of Palmer's Index to the Times of London, covering the years 1790-1905.

Locating and Borrowing Materials

The UW Libraries Catalog provides access to many but not all of the items in the Microform & Newspaper Collections. The Collections' card catalog contains unique finding aids for newspapers, including a chronological list and a place of publication file, as well as main entries for some of the materials held here. Separate printed guides and other finding aids are available for many specialized microform sets.

Most microfilm is identified and arranged by call numbers starting with an A. Most microfiche is arranged by M numbers. There are more than two dozen other filing systems in use for particular sets (U.S. Superintendent of Documents, United Nations documents, etc.)

These collections do not circulate other than through formal interlibrary borrowing services.

Microform Readers, Printers and Scanners


Microfilm, microfiche and microcard readers are available for use. A limited number of microfilm and microfiche printers are also available for 30 minute time periods as necessary.

It is possible to scan microfilm, microfiche, and microcards. We have two Microdax MS 6000 scanners, two ScanPro 1000 scanners, and a ScanPro 2000 scanners. Scans can be saved to a flash drive / memory stick, burned to CD/DVD, emailed, or printed to a networked printer.

Class Orientations

Microforms and the equipment needed to use them can be intimidating. Schedule an orientation to the library unit where you and your students will learn how to identify, locate, use, and duplicate information on microform.

More in-depth research sessions are also available. Schedule a session with a librarian to teach your students how to find information using the research tools (ex. news article databases such as LexisNexis) available in the library.

To schedule an orientation or a research session, contact Glenda Pearson, Head of the Microform and Newspaper Collections or Jessica Albano, Communication Studies librarian.

Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance to ensure the availability of a librarian, access to an instruction room, and preparation of materials.

Microform Duplication Services

The University of Washington Libraries Microform & Newspaper Collection collects and preserves many newspapers published in Washington State. These newspapers are available in microfilm format. Titles listed in the UW Microfilm Print Masters Inventory are available for purchase through OCLC.