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Microform Reader Services (Researcher and Reference Services Division)
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Policies and Services

Link to: About | Reproduction of Materials from the Collection | Interlibrary Loan

About Microform Reader Services

Microform Reader Services is located in the Microform and Electronic Resources Center across from the Main Reading Room, first floor, Jefferson building. This research area provides access to the general microform collection of the Library of Congress. Other specialized reading rooms also contain large microform collections pertaining to their areas of expertise. Examples of these include the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room , the Law Library, the Manuscript Reading Room, and the Asian Reading Room.


Microform Reader Servicesis open to all researchers 16 and older. To request materials, patrons must have a Library of Congress issued Reader Identification Card.

Ordering Materials

Microform materials must be ordered,in person, at the Microform service desk, rather than through the online catalog system. Delivery time is approximately 30 minutes, with the exception of materials that are stored off-site. Off-site items may not be available until the next day at the earliest.

Patrons who wish to retain materials for later use may keep them on the reserve shelf for a maximum of 7 days.


Technicians can assist with requesting materials, as well as interpreting microform numbers, which can be complicated. They will provide instruction on the operation of the reader printers and scanners. Main Reading Room Reference librarians can assist in guidance to the collections and in using finding aids.

Reproduction of Materials from the Collection

Microform materials may be reproduced in a number of ways:

  • Digital scanners. These scanners require patrons to bring a personal flash drive. There is no cost for images.
  • Reader Printers. Purchase of a copy card is required. See the Library’s Copying and Printing Services page for more details.  

Readers who wish to purchase higher quality reproductions or who desire more extensive copying than is convenient on a reader-printer are referred, as appropriate, either to the original micropublisher or to the Library's Duplication Service. The Duplication Service will make various kinds of reproductions subject to copyright or other restrictions. Information on rates and policies can be obtained from the Library of Congress Duplication Service website.

Interlibrary Loan

The Library of Congress is primarily a research library. As such, its lending is restricted to official borrowers or to government agency libraries through interlibrary loan. Under certain conditions the Library lends materials from its collections--including microforms--to other libraries for the use of their researchers. Requests should be initiated by the researcher's local library to the Library of Congress, Loan Division, Washington, D.C. 20540-4670. For more information, consult the Loan Division website.

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  March 17, 2022
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