History Research Guide:Materials on Microform

Microfilm / microfiche collections

Library of American Civilization

The Library of American Civilization (LAC) is a collection of 4,500 titles focused on all aspects of American life and literature from their beginnings to the outbreak of World War I. It includes books, pamphlets, periodicals and documents, many of which are out of print.

Bell Library owns the complete collection on a special type of microfiche called "ultrafiche". Microfiche readers are available which allow you to view the pages and print them or create digital copies. All books in the series are included in the library's online catalog, Portal. The record in Portal will provide the microfiche number, and the microfiche are all stored in a single cabinet in the Microforms area of the first floor of the library. Reference staff are happy to help you find these materials.

However, many of these titles are now available online, via Project Gutenberg, Google Books and other digitization projects. It's always worth a try to search for the title online first before resorting to microfiche. 

History of Women Microfilm Collection

The History of Women Collection is a comprehensive collection of literature by and about American and European from the 1700s through 1920. The microfilm collection consists of books, pamphlets, periodicals, manuscripts and photographs. Included in the collection are resources on such topics as birth control, education, the professions, women's rights, women's organizations, social reform, and the role of women in the settling of the American West.

The History of Women collection is based primarily on works found in the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, located at Radcliffe College, and the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College.

The collection contains:

  • 8500 books published before 1920
  • 2000 pamphlets
  • 117 periodical titles
  • 80,000 manuscript pages
  • 800 photographs

This collection is shelved with the microfilm. The call number is HQ1420 .W64. Ask at the Reference Desk for assistance. As with the Library of American Civilization, some of this material may be available online, especially the books, so be sure to check there first!

History of Cinema: Hollywood and the Production Code

In 1983, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) donated the records of the Hollywood film industry's Production Code Administration (PCA) to the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, California. This collection of documents, covering forty years of self-regulation and censorship in the motion picture industry, contains detailed case files (commonly referred to as "censorship files") for nearly twenty thousand film projects that were submitted to the Production Code staff for consideration.

The History of Cinema: Hollywood and the Production Code microfilm collection includes a selection of five hundred files, each one relating to a particular film. The files are arranged in chronological order by the year of the film's release. Films released within the same year are arranged in alphabetical order by title. An online index of the film titles for which files are included in the collection is available at this link. The microfilm are stored in drawers in the Microform area on the first floor of the library, at call number PN1995.5 .H5.For an index of the files by chronology or by director of the film covered, please consult the printed guide available by the microfilm machines on the first floor of the library.

Microfilm reader instructions coming soon!