Microform Collection Guide

Some of the microfiche and microfilm in this collection at Walter Library are organized alphabetically by series title, such as with cabinets A, B, C, P, Q, and R, and you will probably find these cabinets fairly easy to navigate. However, the middle cabinets, D through N, are technical reports published by United States government agencies and thus follow the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification system that all government publications follow.


SuDoc call numbers look like the Library of Congress call numbers that you might be more familiar with. They start with one or two letters, followed by numbers, letters, and punctuation. Unlike Library of Congress and Dewey Decimal classification systems, SuDoc is not a decimal system. Periods in SuDoc call numbers are simply indicating meaningful divisions (e.g. dividing a number assigned to an agency from a number assigned to a series title). Periods in SuDoc call numbers should not be treated as a decimal point.

Is SuDoc organized by subject?

No. Unlike other library classification systems, reports in SuDoc are not organized by subject or topic. Instead, they are organized first by the broad issuing agency (e.g. Department of Energy), then the class of document (Contractor Report), then by the research agency (Sandia National Laboratories), then usually the year and a sequential report number for that year. Example: E1.99:SAND-81-1050. E means Department of Energy. 1.99 means Contractor Reports and Publications. SAND means Sandia National Laboratories. 81 means 1981. 1050 just means that this report was the 1050th contractor report from Sandia published in 1981.

What if I do not have the SuDoc number?

If you have the title of the government report that you are looking for, search that title in the catalog. You will find the corresponding SuDoc call number in the catalog. Exception: Portions of our microform collection are uncataloged, so you will not find a match in Libraries Search. If you are looking for a government contractor report issued by the Department of Energy or the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), there's a good chance that you will not find a match in the catalog.

For Department of Energy reports, you will need to find the report number. Use an index like Science.gov to find the full report number (e.g. SAND-81-1050). Then, check our collection under E1.28:[report number] or E1.99:[report number].

For NACA reports, you should find the report number using an index like NASA Technical Reports Server. You should find it online, but if you don't, then make note of the report number. The two drawers of NACA microfiche are shelved alphanumerically, starting with the report series abbreviation. For example, ARR-312 will be in the first drawer. You can find a complete list of NACA report series abbreviations in this guide.

What if I do not find the report in Libraries Search?

See the section of this finding aid on Finding Online Reports. For Department of Energy contractor reports, you can use Science.gov or OSTI.gov to find a report number. Suppose you found that "Photovoltaic technology development at Sandia National Laboratories" has the report number "SAND--81-1050". Then check our microfiche cabinets for E1.28:SAND--81-1050 or E1.99:SAND--81-1050.

For NACA reports, you can use Science.gov or the NASA Technical Reports Server to find a report number. There's also a good chance that you will find the same report in PDF format. Once you have a report number, you can check the two drawers of NACA reports in cabinet F. It will be alphabetical by the series abbreviation and numerical/chronological by the number that follows. Here's an example of a report number: NACA-TN-2286.

All I have is a frame number from a reference to a Journal of Chemical Research (S). What do I do?

Use the frame number to find the synopsis in the JCR(S) series. The synopsis will include a citation to the full report in the JCR(M) series, including a page number. See more details on finding Journal of Chemical Research papers.

Last Updated: Apr 11, 2024 9:45 AM