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Microforms Collections in F.W. Crumb Library

Crumb Library houses a variety of primary materials collections in microforms. This guide will describe our collections, outline how to find and use them as well as the resources you use to determine the content of the collections.


This collection includes more than 12,000 documents relating to all aspects of American life and literature, from the country's earliest days to the outbreak of World War I (1914).

Included are pamphlets, periodicals, public and private documents, biographies and autobiographies, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, collected works and papers, and materiall of foreign origin relating to America.

This library of documents was never intended ot be a comprehensive collection of all material from the time period but rather a collection "fully adequate to support an undergradualte American studies program".  The range of material included makes this a useful resource for a broad range of subjects when you are seeking primary sources.

LAC format and use

The collection was reproduced as micro-images on ultrafiche.  Each sheet may include up to 1000 pages.  The reproduction is the smallest that we have in the Libraries.

The fiche is stored in accession number order in cabinet drawers marked LAC adjacent to viewing equipment on the main floor of Crumb Library.

To view, scan and save pages of the documents you must use the ST ViewScan machine devoted to use with ultrafiche.

The default settings on this scanner are designed to produce the best image possible from the ultrafiche.

Instructions for using the equipment are posted adjacent to the machine.  Please ask at the Help Desk for assistance.

Resources for finding documents in the LAC collection

There is a four volume index/guide to use with the LAC collection:  an author index, a title index, a subject index and a unique subject finding aid - a Biblioguide. 

Copies of the index volumes are kept on top of the microfiche cabinets and in the Crumb Reference collection at Ref. Z1236 .L5 1971.

Entries in the indexes follow standard cataloging practices and headings and are similar to entries in other catalogs such as BearCat and WorldCat.  Each entry includes a LAC number that indicates the ultrafiche card that contains the document.

The Biblioguide is a unique guide that provides a topical (subject) index that groups fiche under broad classifications.  Each group and sub-group is clearly explained in the guide.  The Biblioguide entries offer separate references to periodicals making it an excellent resource when you need primary documents from a journal or magazine.


Other ways to access the documents

As many of these documents are in the public domain (not limited by copyright), freely available digitized collections such as Google Books and HathiTrust may provide Internet access to reproductions.

Use the subject analysis provided by the indexes and Biblioguide to identify appropriate resources and then search Google Books or HathiTrust for the document.



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