Skip to main content

News Formats: Physical
Microfilm

News content is available in at least eight formats. This is a guide to those formats with pros and cons and examples for each one.

Microfilm, Microfiche, Micro-opaque

Format: Mainly film in rolls. Occasionally available on microfiche (individual sheets of film). Rarely, historical content is available on now superseded opaque card stock (micro-opaque).
Examples: The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times; black and international newspapers at the Center for Research Libraries; Early American Newspapers; International Coalition on Newspapers (ICON) catalog.
Content: Full runs of major U.S. newspapers in Olin; shorter runs of smaller newspapers. No color.
Pros: Historical completeness; original page format; very good preservation medium, easy to borrow from other libraries via ILL (esp. Center For Research Libraries).
Cons: Not current; lack of indexing; difficult to access (specialized machinery, localized physical access--not networked, but see ProQuest Digital Microfilm); some poor reproduction.
Access rating: Fair.
Preservation rating: Very good.
Notes: Invaluable for historians, historical research.