Michigan State University

Current Periodical and Microforms FAQs

Can periodicals, journals, or magazines be taken out of the library?

All materials located in Current Periodicals/Microforms Unit are restricted to in-building use. Requests to allow items to leave the building should be directed to the Service Desk Supervisor, who shall grant permission only in cases where in-building use presents a severe hardship. It is possible to scan and copy items, including microfilm and microfiche in the Main Library MakeCentral located on 2 West.

Where are back issues of newspapers or newspapers on microfilm?

Many Major Newspapers on microfilm are arranged alphabetically and are housed on 2 West Main Library.  Some are located in Remote Storage and require a request for use.

How do I request film from Remote Storage?

For film reel requests please email remote@lib.msu.edu

Reels requested by 11am Mon-Friday will be available for your viewing at the Hollander MakeCentral Service desk, on 2West in the late afternoon of the same day.  Requests after 11am, will be available by the afternoon of the next business day. Film is retrieved Monday-Friday.

If you request film, you will receive an email when the film is available at the service desk.

Where are bound journals kept? OR Where is the Magazine collection?

There is not a specific area designated "Magazine collection". The bound volumes of journals collection are located at their specific call number location. Many are in remote storage and may also be available online.   To locate a specific bound journal it is necessary to obtain its call number and location from the catalog.

What does "Recent unbound issues in CURRENT PERIODICALS 2W" mean?

This refers to recently published, or newest, issues of a periodical. Unbound issues can be found in their original softcover format and are shelved as individual issues. If you are in doubt about a particular issue, please feel free to ask for assistance at the MakeCentral Service Desk.

Can photocopies of microforms (microfilm and microfiche) be made? Where?

Yes. Special machines equipped to view, scan and copy individual pages from microfilm and microfiche are located in the Main Library MakeCentral on 2-West. Saving scans to a USB Drive is free and printing is available for a charge.

What form of identification do I need to look at materials kept behind the Service Desk?

Two forms of identification are acceptable; an MSU student or faculty identification card OR a Community borrowing card issued by the library. If you have never used the library before, please go to the Patron Services Desk (Main Lobby) to register your MSU I.D. or apply for community borrowing privileges.

What does status "Bind Prep" or "Sent to the Bindery" mean?

A status "Bind Prep" message means that the volume is available. These items are available at the Hollander MakeCentral Service Desk. A status "To Bind" message means that the volume is currently unavailable. These items become available again in approximately 4 weeks from the date they were sent. The date an item was sent is displayed in the check in box in the catalog, directly below the "To Bind" message.  It may be possible to request an article through Interlibrary services or find it available in digital format.   Reference Desk staff can help with searching.  The Reference Desk is located near Patron Services on the first floor.

What is the difference between microfilm and microfiche?

Microfilm comes on a reel. Microfiche comes on a 4X6 transparent sheet. Microforms is a generic term that refers to both.

The Library Online Catalog indicates that this journal is on microfilm. But when I looked for the year I needed, it was not there. How can I tell what is actually on microfilm and what is only bound?

Some catalog records list both the microfilm and bound volumes together, but many are broken into a microfilm record and a paper copy record. While most of the film holdings and bound volume holdings do coincide, some do not. To be sure that the volume that you are seeking is on microfilm, you must check the copy holdings screen of the catalog microfilm record.  Ask a Reference Librarian for assistance if needed.

Why aren't the Sunday Classifieds for many U.S. daily newspapers available on the day they are published?

Some major U.S. dailies are not distributed to the library directly. Instead they are received through the U.S. mail. This takes aproximately 3-5 days.