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Finding Primary Sources: Microform Collections

A guide created to assist students to find and evaluate primary sources.

Microform Collections


The term “microform” encompasses microfilm and microfiche. Microfiche are flat sheets while microfilm is stored on reels, both formats can be generally referred to as microform or micromaterials. Microforms are reproductions of documents that have been scaled down to save space and conserve the originals. 

While microforms are a pain to use, they are cheap to produce and store, nearly impossible to manipulate, and can last up to 500 years when kept in the right conditions.


The library has an extensive collection of microform, including the Hudson's Bay Company Archives. Once you have found an item from the library catalogue in microform format, head to the second floor to find the desired reel.

Need Help?

Looking for the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs' Red Series (East of the Manitoba-Ontario border) and Black Series (west of the border)? The University of Lethbridge Library has a great guide on what they are, which microfilm reels have been digitized, and how to search for them.