Walter Library has over 350,000 documents in 18 cabinets that have been reproduced as microfilm or microfiche for high-efficiency storage. Most of these documents are published by the U.S. Government and sent to us as a regional holder of scientific and technical government information. They can be viewed and scanned using the scanner located on the north wall of the foundation level (Level F) of Walter Library.
Many of the documents in our collection have been scanned and placed online, and many more are searchable (abstract/citation only) in various report databases. See Finding Reports Online. For convenience, you will find a list of the primary online databases below.
Popular and Highly Used Resources
- Library CatalogUse the Libraries Search to search individual items in our Microform Collection, though note that two of our microfiche collections are uncataloged: NACA Technical Publications and Department of Energy Contractor Reports and Publications (E 1.99). You will find links to HathiTrust in the catalog when one of our document titles match a full text document in HathiTrust.
- Science.govSearch numerous US Government indexes and document repositories simultaneously. Use this search engine first to locate PDFs and abstracts of US Government scientific and technical information.
- HathiTrustContains many government technical reports that have been digitized, though in most cases, you won't need to search HathiTrust directly. You'll find links to HathiTrust in the catalog when one of our document titles match a full text document in HathiTrust.
- OSTI.govThe US Office of Scientific & Technical Information (OSTI) website is an excellent companion resource to our large Department of Energy microfiche collection (cabinets F through O). Approximately 30% of our DOE microfiche can be found in PDF form at this site. Science.gov will also pull results from OSTI.gov, but OSTI.gov has additional search features not found in Science.gov.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)Remarkably, the NTRS keeps about 85% of our NASA and NACA microfiche (cabinets 5-6) in PDF format. Science.gov will pull results from NTRS, but NTRS offers additional search capability.
- USGS Publications WarehouseKeeps approximately 67% of our USGS microfiche (cabinet D) in PDF format. Science.gov will pull results from USGS Pub Warehouse, but you'll find additional search functions here that you won't find in Science.gov.
- TRAIL Digitization ProjectThe Technical Report Archive & Image Library (TRAIL) identifies, acquires, catalogs, digitizes and provides unrestricted access to U.S. government agency technical reports. In recent years, the Greater Western Library Alliance has collected documents from the National Bureau of Standards (cabinet D), US Bureau of Mines (cabinet D), Atomic Energy Commission, US Bureau of Reclamation Office of Saline Waters, and the Manhattan District Classification Code. Millions of pages of elusive technical reports are now discoverable. Many of these technical reports have also been sent to the HathiTrust Digital Library.
Walter Library has a combined microform reader and scanner next to the microform collection on Level F. With the scanner, you can scan one page at a time and combine the scans into one PDF.
- Plan enough time. Scanning microforms can be a time-consuming process.
- Keep your PDFs small. If you plan to email the PDF, send only 3-5 pages at a time. If you plan to save the PDF to a flash drive, save only 15 pages at a time. The program gets a little bogged down beyond those limits.
- Before you start scanning, check to be sure that the microform is not already online.
- You will find a complete user guide next to the scanner.