Micro Copiers, Readers and Scanners

What is a microcard?

Picture of large microcardWhen a negative is printed onto photographic paper rather than film the product is called a micro-opaque (microprint or microcard).

Each copy is printed by offset lithography rather than being reproduced from the original film.

This is old technology that has virtually disappeared from the market, but library collections still contain millions of these items.

Picture or small microcards

The terms microprint and microcard are used to denote different sizes.

Microprints are large cards measuring about 5 by 7 inches.

Microcards are smaller, measuring about 3 by 5 inches. Microcards (micro-opague or micro-print) images are read by reflecting light off the image rather than through it. Microcards cannot be read on the same equipment as microfilm or microfiche.

Microcard reader

In the Archives and Research Collections Centre (ARCC) Reading Room, there is a ViewScan 4 reader available with PerfectView software that can read microcards. 

The Reading Room is located on the main floor of the D.B. Weldon Library, WL 140.

What is microfiche?

MicroficheMicrofiche is a card-shaped piece of photographic film, usually 4x6 or 3x5 inches in size, used for the storage of miniaturized text in a grid pattern. It can be read only with the aid of magnification by use of a microfiche reader. Microfiche may contain a printed book, journal, or newspaper.

We have a number of excellent resources in microfiche format. Read a description about what microfiche formats are available.

Microfiche / film readers

Micro Fiche/film readerWe have two microfiche/film combination readers on the ground floor. If you need assistance using this equipment please ask at the service desk.

What is microfilm?

Microfilm is a 6 mm or 35 mm continuous roll of photographic film containing miniaturized (micro) images of text. Micro filming is a way to preserve fragile documents, e.g. rare books, back runs of newspaper titles and / or journals.

We have a number of excellent resources in microfilm format. Read a description about what microfiche formats are available.

Microform (fiche or film) scanners

There are three microform scanners located in the area behind the Spencer Gallery on the first floor.

  • The Canon 300II (White) scanner is an Express scanner. It will scan microfilm or microfiche.
  • The two ST ViewScan (Black) scanners will scan micro fiche or micro film.

ST ViewScan Micro Scanner Instructions

To use the Canon Micro Express scanner:

  • Ensure the scanner is switched ON before the PC.
  • Load the microfilm/fiche using the posted instructions.
  • Insert your USB, to save your scan to your USB.
  • At the desktop, double click on the Capture Perfect 1.0 icon.
  • Centre the image to be scanned. Adjust the zoom lens and/or the focus as needed.
  • Use the mouse button to begin the scanning process:
  • "File / Scan to Page" for single page
  • "File / Scan to Batch" for multiple pages-
  • "File / Scan to Print" for a paper copy (costs 10¢ per copy, using a Graphics Services Debit card).
  • Save your scan(s):
  • to a USB for free
  • to the desktop, to attach to an email (must have a Western Identity to access email)
  • or send your scan(s) to the "Library" networked public printers across from the Service desk, cost is 10¢ per page.
  • Name your file
  • Save your scans(s) as .tiff, .jpeg, or .pdf files
  • Microform scanner will now scan your document.
  • When finished, rewind the microfilm / remove the microfiche.
  • Do not turn off the scanner
  • Reshelve the microfilm / fiche in the reshelving area.

Document scanners

All Print, Copy, Scan stations in our Print Copy Centre are document scanners. You will need a PaperCut account to use the Print, Copy, Scan stations.

Scanning is free.

See signage at the Print, Copy, Scan stations for assistance.