Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library
University of Maryland, College Park
What is microfilm?
Suppose you need to look at a copy of the manuscript to J.C. Bach’s Magnificat in C, or maybe you’re looking for an old journal like Accordion Times that’s no longer in print, so the catalog shows something like this:
Fortunately, even though the Magnificat manuscript is kept in the British Library and we don’t have printed copies of Accordion Times locally, you can still access these resources on microfilm at the Performing Arts Library.
Microfilm is a format for storing copies of old documents using very little space. Basically, the original Magnificat score and the old copies of Accordion Times were photographed and their images were shrunk onto a tiny film reel. By using a special viewer at the library, you can see the entire original documents.
You’ll need to use the library to view the microfilm at first, but the good news is that you can easily save images of the microfilm as PDF files, which can then be printed or displayed on your own computer.