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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


A guide to finding and using microfilm and microfiche at the University Library.


Most of the University Library's microfilm and microfiche collections are located in the film stacks of the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library. Microfiche is also housed in the subbasement of the Main Stacks. The microfilm is arranged in call number sequence starting on the first floor of the HPNL film stacks and continues on the floor above. Most of the film is organized using Dewey Decimal Classification, but you will also find a small number of reels at the beginning of the collection that are organized using Library of Congress Classification.

Some of our microfilm is also located off-site at the Oak Street Library. Patrons may not browse these materials on the shelf, but Oak Street's microfilm may be requested via the online catalog. Most items can then be picked up within 1-2 business days.

Many of the microfilm and microfiche sets have printed guides that will help you locate the material you need. These guides usually have the same call number as the associated microfilm or microfiche, even though they are paper guides. They are located on the shelves to your right as you enter the film stacks.

Where to Search

Interlibrary Loan

As part of the Interlibrary Loan program, you can request microfilm from other libraries and use our machinery to view them. To search other libraries, use the links below.

Identifying Microforms in the University Library

As a general rule, microfilm copies of individual works are cataloged separately, just like books. These can be searched normally in the online catalog by title and/or author. An example is:

The University Library owns many large microform sets, however, that are represented in the online catalog only under a collective title, without records for the individual works in the collection. Two examples of this type of set are:

In some cases, sets with collective or generic titles have been fully cataloged (especially those acquired more recently) and are therefore included in the Library’s online catalog (e.g., Records of Antebellum Southern Plantations), so you should always start your search by looking in the online catalog.

Newspapers on Microfilm

The University Library has an extensive collection of historical newspapers on microfilm. In addition to the online catalog, historical newspaper titles on microfilm can be found by searching the University of Illinois Library Newspaper Database. This database features searching by place and date of publication.

Newspaper titles may also be included within microfilm collections, such as:

  • Underground Press Collection 1963-1985 (FILM 071.3 Un3)
  • Periodicals by and about American Indians 1923-1981 (FILM 973.049705 P418)
  • Early English Newspapers (FILM 072 EA76)
  • Newspapers from the Russian Revolutionary Era (FILM 057.1 NE)

For more information about finding newspapers, see our newspaper guides.