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Government Information Collection: Microfiche

About Microfiche

Microfiche is a format for displaying information in microprint. Reports, data, graphs, and other print materials have been photographed and printed on transparent film that can be read using special viewers that light and magnify the images. 

Microfiche was a popular way of distributing information is a pre-digital era because it allows libraries to store a lot of information in a small space! The microfiche collection in Government Information contains over 450,000 individual titles. That's almost as much information as we have in half of the compact shelves! The Federal government published its last microfiche publications in 2022. This collection is complete and will not be added to.

Here's an example of what microfiche looks like:

microfiche in an envelope

Fiche are commonly stored in envelopes. Across the top of the fiche, you will find the call number on the left followed by the title. On the top right, you will find information about the fiche including the number of fiche per title ( # of #) and the total page count of the document (P. # - #). The microfiche pages are photographed in negative (clear text on a black background). The final image will indicate that it is the "end" of the document. 

How to Access Microfiche

Microfiche are described in the Library Catalog. A microfiche item will have "Microform" in the title and will say "microfiche" in the Carrier field. For an example, see Growing jobs in rural America [microform] : hearing before the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, United States Senate, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, first session, July 14, 2011.

The microfiche in the Government Information Collection are organized under the SuDoc call number system. The first SuDoc call number in the drawer is provided in a label on the front. There are 50 cabinets of microfiche. The cabinets are to be read left to right when viewing them. SuDoc order starts in the top drawer, front left section, and then progresses back, over, and down the cabinet in SuDoc order. 

When you pull a microfiche out of the drawer, please use a placeholder card where it came from. Placeholder cards are available on top of the microfiche cabinets. 

Library staff will reshelve microfiche for you. Please place it in the designated bins on top of the cabinets or next to the microfiche viewers. 

To view the microfiche, insert the microfiche into the glass plate on the microfiche viewer. See instructions on the viewer. The "on"' button for the viewer light is on the front of the viewer stand. 

microfiche on glass plate

Slide the tray to navigate the document and display the report on the view screen. This is an easy way to quickly confirm if the document has the information you are looking for. 

title page displayed on microfiche viewer

USU Libraries has more advanced microfiche/microfilm scanners on the Second Floor where you can scan a microfiche document and email it to yourself. Feel free to take microfiche items from this area to the Second Floor microfilm area. 

For assistance, please see a library staff member. 

Government Agencies that Produced Microfiche

The Government Information Collection has microfiche publications from the following U.S. government agencies, bureaus, commissions, and entities:

U.S. Government Entity Name Call Number Starts With  Current Microform Collection Total 
Agriculture (USDA) A 15,738
Action and Peace Corps AA 6
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency AC 5
National Archives and Records Administration AE 21,565
Broadcasting Board of Governors B 2
Commerce Department C 27,377
Civil Aeronautics Board CAB 69
Federal Communications Commission CC 100
Civil Rights Commission CR 80
Community Services Administration CSA 3
Defense Department D 39,395
Energy Department E 22,280
Education Department ED 21,112
Energy Research and Development Administration ER 250
Farm Credit Administration FCA 60
Federal Energy Administration FE 1
Federal Emergency Management Agency FEM 16,675
Federal Housing Financing Board FHF 4
Federal Home Loan Bank Board FHL 30
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service FM 9
Federal Maritime Commission FMC 29
Federal Power Commission FP 2
Federal Reserve System Board of Governors FR 11,664
Federal Security Agency FS 2
Federal Trade Commission FT 50
Foreign-Trade Zones Board FTZ 12
Government Accountability Office GA 26,499
Government Printing Office GP -
General Services Administration GS 2,142
Health and Human Services Department HE 15,458
Housing and Urban Development Department HH 650
Homeland Security HS 9
Interior Department I 27,096
Information Agency IA 24
Interstate Commerce Commission IC 14
International Trade Commission ITC 1,225
Justice Department J 533
Judiciary JU 8,880
Labor Department L 1,842
Library of Congress LC 1,919
National Labor Relations Board LR 60
Merit Systems Protection Board MS 50
National Aeronautics and Space Administration NAS 47,499
National Capital Planning Commission NC 2
National Credit Union Administration NCU 60
National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities NF 19
National Mediation Board NMB 48
National Science Foundation NS 425
Overseas Private Investment Corporation OP 27
United States Postal Service P 1,834
Peace Corps PE 9
Personnel Management Office PM 200
President of the United States PR 37
Executive Office of the President PREX 1,000
Railroad Retirement Board RR 30
State Department S 1,000
Small Business Administration SBA 200
Securities and Exchange Commission SE 3,692
Smithsonian Institution SI 330
Social Security Administration SSA 43
Treasury Department T 2,025
Tariff Commission TC 166
Transportation Department TD 13,317
Veterans Affairs Department VA 432
Congress - Serial Set X 7,527
House Journal XJH 209
Senate Journal XJS 104
Congress Y 137,675