Where is the Microfilm Reader at Pitts?
Microforms at Pitts are located in large cabinets on the Mezzanine level of the Durham Reading Room, at the very back of the library. The Microfilm reader is located in a room adjacent to the microfilm cabinets. To access the Microforms area, take the main stairs up from the library lobby and move to the back of the library at the first landing (see map below; click the image for more maps of the Pitts Theology Library).
Microfilms are stored in individual boxes in draws fo the large cabinets, organized by Library of Congress call number.
Reading a Microfilm
Once you have found the microfilm you would like to view, follow these instructions to view the film. The video clip below will demonstrate all steps.
To Load and View a Microfilm:
- Open the box and remove the film roll.
- Pull the handle at the center of the machine forward so the glass pivots upward, allowing the film to pass through.
- Push the film spool onto the peg at the left side so that the film rolls OVER the top of the spool, not below it (see image). Push the spool onto the peg until it snaps into place and the end of the peg is flush with the end of the spool. You may have to hold the peg in place and move the spool around until the square peg lines up with the square hole.
- Pull the film out and run it under the two white rollers and then insert it into the slot on the receiving spool. Make sure you run the film OVER the receiving spool and not under.
- Push the end of the film into the slot in the center of the receiving spool and turn the receiving spool a few times to get the film to wrap around properly.
- If the end of the film is wrapped around the receving spool, and the film is passing below the two white rollers, you are ready to view the film
- Push the handle all the way into the machine so that the glass lays flat on the film.
- The Minolta knob that is separate from the machine on the right is the tool for navigating through the film. Turn it (slowly) to the right to advance the film, and turn it (slowly) to the left to reverse the film. BE WARNED: The knob is very sensitive and may turn much faster than you desire.
- To move the film up or down, move the central handle.
- To focus the lens, turn the large grey wheel on the lens, just above the central handle.
- To zoom in or out, turn the blue wheel on the lens, just above the central handle.
- To rotate the image, turn the knob at the bottom right of the reader.
To Unload a Microfilm:
- When finished, you need to rewind the microfilm. To do this, simply turn the knob to the left and allow the original spool to collect the entire film. You will know it's completely rewound when the end of the film is flapping around. When this happens, return the knob to its center position.
- Pull the original spool firmly off the peg and place the spool into the box so that the box closes completely.
- Turn the machine off with the power switch on the right side.
- Microforms can be returned to the reshelving boxes just outside of the Microfilm Room.
Saving Pages of a Microfilm as a PDF
Pages of a microfilm can be saved as pages of PDF using the computer that is attached to the microfilm reader. To do so, begin by positioning your film where you would like to begin your scan (note that the green LED lights on the microfilm reader designates the region that will be scanned, not the black outlines on the screen). The computer will scan one page at a time, giving you the opportunity to move page by page on the reader. To do this, follow these instructions:
- Turn on the computer to the right of the Microfilm Reader.
- Login as the user “microform”; no password is required.
- Open Adobe Acrobat 5.0 from the Desktop (double click the Adobe Acrobat 5.0 icon)
- Select "File" from the top menu and then select "Import" and then "Scan…"
- A new window will open, allowing you to change the defaul settings.
- By default "Open New PDF" will be selected, assuming no other PDF was open
- If you would like to append a page from the Microfilm to an existing PDF, open that PDF in Acrobat first and then "Append to Current Document" will be available."
- Click “Scan”
- A new window will open allowing you to make further changes to the settings.
- In general, you will not need to make changes to the default settings.
- The one change you may want to make is to the resolution (the higher the number the clearer the image and the larger the filesize). The default setting of 400dpi is generally sufficient for text.
- Click “Scan”to begin the scan
- A "Minolta" window will appear. Once the blue progress bar has moved to the right (it won't make it all the way), click "Done" to finish.
- You will see your image as a PDF document. To add more images to this same document, return to step #3, where you will see "Append to Current Document" as an option.
Printing Pages from a Microfilm
The Microfilm Reader can print exactly what you see on the screen as a single sheet of paper. To do this, first position the film so that what you see in the box on the screen is exactly what you want to print. To do this, you may need to adjust the film side to side (using the separate knob on the right) or up and down (using the central handle). You can also rotate the image using the knob at the bottom right of the screen.
Once you have the image as you would like it to print, look to the display on the machine and make sure it reads "1" for 1 copy. You can increase the number of copies by pressing the button below the display.
If the screen reads "Pc" instead of "1", this means the computer is the current output for the device. To change this, you need to press and hold the "Shift" and the "PR/PC" key together for about 2 seconds. This should change the display to "1."
To print what you see on the screen, press the green "Start" button on the Microfilm Reader.
Changing the Lens on the Microfilm Reader
The Pitts Theology Library Microfilm Reader has three replaceable lenses, for different magnfication levels. Type 1 (9-16x) magnifies the least, followed by Type 2 (13-27x), followed by Type 3 (28-50x). One of these lenses should be loaded into the Microfilm reader, and the other two should be on the table next to the reader. The lens is located between the central handle and the screen.
To switch lenses, you should first remove the current lens:
- Push the central handle all the way into the device, ensuring that the glass is NOT tilted up.
- Press up on the button that says "Lens Release" until it snaps into a higher position
- You can then pull the lens forward, removing it from the device.
Identify the replacement lens and slide it back into the spot of the previous lens, with the wheels on the top and the label facing you. Make sure the lens fits the "track" on the left side of the part of the device that holds the lens. Press the lens firmly into the device until it snaps into place. At this point the "Lens Release" button should be in the down and locked position. You are now ready to view at the new magnification.