Prepared by Elisabeth Lindsay.
Microfiche is a small, single page of microfilm, about 4 x 6 inches in size; an entire book can be captured on a single page. The word "microfiche" means small card. As opposed to microfilm on which images are captured in a continuous roll, images on microfiche are laid out in a grid pattern and can be viewed by scanning up an down or across the page, using a special microfiche viewer which illuminates and magnifies the image.
Microfiche, like microfilm, is used to preserve original documents, save space, and make information more accessible. Indexes, city directories, and other types of books are often captured on microfiche, which are easy to store and take up little space. Many repositories use microfiche for capturing information, including collections of loose documents that might be easily separated or lost in frequent handling. The public is often given access to microfiche for viewing, which are easy to duplicate and replace.
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