General Information

Microforms are materials that have been photographed and reprinted in a miniaturized format. CWU's collection includes a variety of materials, such as: newspapers, periodicals, rare and out-of-print books, government publications, dissertations, special collections, and college catalogs.

The microform collection is in a separate room on the 3rd floor of CWU Library, and contains 3 Microformats:

  1. Microfiche (MH location) - Rectangular cards containing transparent film, filed in drawers. U.S. government publications have "SuDocs" numbers, and the rest of the collection is arranged using accession numbers.
  2. Microfilm (MM location) - Reels of transparent film, placed in boxes that are filed in drawers. Each title has a number.
  3. Microprint / Microcard (MP location) - White cards with miniature black print, filed in boxes on shelves. Each set has a number.

Indexes to the microforms vary according to the type of material:

Microform Sets

  • OneSearch contains records for many of the microform sets. Searches can be performed using keywords, subject, author or title. The record for the set will provide the location number and format for CWU's collection. OneSearch records describe the entire set, without any entries for the individual publications or titles contained within the set.
  • Printed indexes for most of the microform sets are available at the Documents Reference Desk (3rd floor). The indexes are also arranged in numeric order, using the same number that was given to the microform set. A card file at the Documents Reference Desk contains detailed descriptions and provides access by subject for selected sets.

Newspapers And Periodicals

  • OneSearch contains records for newspapers and periodicals. Records indicate issues received, format, and call number for newspaper and periodical titles owned by the Library.
  • Indexes and abstracts in the Reference Department (1st floor) and electronic databases accessible through the Library's web pages are used to locate articles within the newspapers and magazines.
  • The Government Documents Department has a list of major newspapers in microform, including both current newspapers and newspapers of historical interest.

Government Publications

  • OneSearch, Marcive, and Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) are databases that contain records for documents in all formats, including microfiche. The complete record is used to determine where each document title will be found. All documents are filed or shelved according to the "SuDocs" classification system, which puts materials in order by the publishing agency. (Documents are filed at the beginning of the microfiche collection).
  • Historical documents, primarily congressional materials, have been purchased as sets, with a separate index for each collection. Most of these indexes are located at the Government Publications Desk on the 3rd floor.

Assistance with locating microforms and using the equipment is available, and advisable for first-time users, at the Government Publications Desk on the 3rd floor.

Equipment for reading and printing pages in each of these formats is available on the 3rd floor. Copies are $.10 per page. Change or a copy card (charging $.08 per page) can be used. Portable microfiche readers, for home use, can be checked out from the Circulation Desk (1st floor) for 3 days.

Selected Microform Collections, By Subject


  • ERIC (Microfiche 9) is a collection of separately published materials (not journal articles) in the field of education. The collection includes research reports, presentations and guides. The ERIC Index is available online via the U.S. Department of Education's website.

English Literature

  • Early American Imprints (Microprint 8) contains the complete text of virtually every book, pamphlet, and broadside printed in the United States from 1639 to 1800. The extensive index, Evan's American Bibliography, is located on the shelf next to the set.
  • Microbook Library of English Literature (Microfiche 4) provides the text of English literary works from their beginnings (Beowulf) to the early 20th century. An index is available at the Government Documents Reference Desk. (Also in the Reference Department at Call Number Z 2012 L47).
  • Library of English Literature (Microfiche 4) contains early English literary works, from the beginning to the early 20th century. The index is available at the Documents Reference Desk.

Foreign Countries

  • United Nations Publications (Microprint 144, 1946-1982 and Microfiche 144, 1982-1992) is a collection of UN documents and official records. Indexes are on the Documents Index Table (3rd floor) Z 6482 U45.


  • U.S. Congressional Serial Set (Microprint 145) contains the text of U.S. congressional committee reports published from 1789-1964. Indexes are located on the Documents Index Table (3rd floor) Z 1223.Z9 C65.


  • History of the Pacific Northwest (Microfilm 641) contains materials relative to the settling of the Pacific Northwest. An index is available at the Government Documents Reference Desk.
  • Library of American Civilization (Microfiche 351) is a large collection of historically significant publications published from the "beginning" until the outbreak of WW II. Indexes are at the Documents Reference Desk.
  • Western Americana (Microfiche 318) is a microfiche collection of books and documents from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. An index to the collection is available at the Documents Reference Desk.


  • CWU collects microfilm reels with editions of many newspapers, including:
    • Christian Science Monitor (MM 1)
    • New York Times (MM 214)
    • Seattle Times (MM 3)
    • London Times (MM 304)
    • Wall Street Journal (MM 20)
    • Washington Post (MM 701)
  • Indexes for newspapers are located in the Government Documents Department (3rd floor).
  • Electronic indexes to newspapers are available via the CWU Library Databases Page.


  • These collections include personal papers from individuals, such as Jane Addams Papers (MM 908) and The Papers of Andrew Jackson (MM 1013), along with papers from organizations, such as Indian Rights Association Papers 1864-1973 (MM 392) and National Woman's Party Papers 1913-1974 (MM 845-846).
  • Indexes for sets of papers are located at the Documents Reference Desk.


  • HRAF (Human Relations Area Files) (Microfiche 3) provides information about world cultures and ethnic groups. Consult the Outline of World Cultures, the Outline of Cultural Materials, and the HRAF Source Bibliography at the Government Documents Reference Desk to locate information in the collection.