Definition of microfilm in US English:



  • A length of film containing microphotographs of a newspaper, catalog, or other document.

    ‘all those forms go on microfilm’
    ‘his vast hoard of microfilms’
    • ‘Two-thirds of these files on soldiers killed in the First World War were destroyed in the Blitz but the charred and water-damaged remnants are being pieced together and made available on microfilm.’
    • ‘Hart had discovered the article on microfilm while researching the history of karate in the library of the University of Ohio.’
    • ‘This extensive collection, all on microfilm is a copy of the detailed compilation of all such records in the country which was carried out by the Mormons in Ireland in the 1950's.’
    • ‘As local studies librarian I manage a wide-ranging collection including newspapers and indexes to birth, marriages and deaths, which you can book to consult on microfilm by telephoning the library.’
    • ‘While innumerable neurotic New Yorker fanatics have saved piles of the magazine in closets or basements, the few easily accessible archives of the magazine's contents have been on microfilm or in bound volumes in public libraries.’
    • ‘The dissemination of collections on microfilm through interlibrary loan has given way to the speedy delivery of digitized documents online.’
    • ‘Except for published extracts, these 124 manuscript diaries have only been available at the West Point Library and on microfilm.’
    • ‘It now exists in typescript, in a few libraries, including that of the University of Calgary, and on microfilm.’
    • ‘Under Texas law, a copy of military personnel files of those serving in the Texas Air National Guard must be retained on microfilm at the Texas archives.’
    • ‘This room full of books was connected to a smaller room that had a Reader machine in it, so people could read newspapers on microfilm.’
    • ‘These newspapers are currently stored on microfilm, which was produced from newspapers that had deteriorated through the years.’
    • ‘Anybody want to buy the entire 1950s run on microfilm?’
    • ‘Newspapers utilized for this study included African-American newspapers that were in existence from the 1920s through at least the 1950s and have been preserved on microfilm as well as in the original.’
    • ‘Unfortunately we all need to come to face the fact that there is officially no perfect way to archive photography other than making a high quality print and putting it in a safety deposit box or on microfilm.’
    • ‘It came out once a week and from 1963 to the present the back issues are on microfilm, but the issues before that are in an old coatroom in old banker's boxes labeled 1946, 1947.’
    • ‘A small scratch on microfilm can result in the loss of a large amount of data.’
    • ‘I was recently reading through old editions of the New York Times on microfilm and came across a story showing that the history of on-air telepathy tests has always been a sorry one.’
    • ‘Most large libraries have copies, usually on microfilm, of newspapers from their regions.’
    • ‘Fearing loss and destruction of the rare texts, the Japanese government previously donated about 50 million yen to fund their preservation on microfilm.’
    • ‘Far too much of my work involved reading old newspapers and regional magazines on microfilm.’


[with object]
  • Make a microfilm of (a newspaper, catalog, or other document).

    • ‘Also, the many books that are in poor condition, or that are so valuable that hands-on access by readers is undesirable, have to be either microfilmed or digitized.’
    • ‘The specific purpose of the project was to identify and to microfilm monographic and serial literature relating to agricultural development and rural life between 1820 and 1945.’
    • ‘A team on Saipan indexed and microfilmed documents, and a complete set of the film and the final index was deposited with each island government and with the UHM Library.’
    • ‘A double strategy was adopted: sending more and more books to the new Midwest Inter-Library Center (today's Center for Research Libraries, located south of the Midway at 6050 South Kenwood Avenue), and microfilming as much as possible.’
    • ‘Each issue is microfilmed by UMI and you may contact them to purchase full microfilm volumes.’
    • ‘Finnish Americans have also supported famine relief in Finland, assisted the Help Finland Movement during the Winter War, and even held a fund-raising drive for microfilming Finnish language newspapers in 1983.’
    • ‘Well His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, wrote the original, Om Mani Padme Hum and then it was photocopied and microfilmed, and rolled very tightly and placed all inside this metal drum, which is fashioned into a wheel so that it will turn.’
    • ‘In 1964 the Library made them available outside its reading rooms by having the entire collection microfilmed.’
    • ‘This is a wake-up call for all historians, libraries, museums and archives to protect and preserve their material by microfilming them.’
    • ‘Most post-1914 materials are restricted in their use because they have not been catalogued and microfilmed.’
    • ‘Librarians argued that if newspapers were not microfilmed they would disintegrate.’
    • ‘By accident someone had microfilmed the manuscript pages in the wrong order.’
    • ‘Thanks to generous support of the Taube Family Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, those archives have now been organized and microfilmed.’
    • ‘They have been collecting and microfilming anything they can get their hands on for over a century, and they are a tremendous resource for researchers.’
    • ‘He said that in his company, employees would microfilm copies of outgoing international telegrams that would then be picked up by a government courier.’
    • ‘When he nipped to the loo, I managed to microfilm details of his latest report to his troops which he calls Gremlins.’
    • ‘Novelist and literary essayist Nicholson Baker once again has caused a stir in the library world, this time attacking the sale and/or destruction of original newspapers once they have been microfilmed.’
    • ‘Attempts to microfilm the manuscripts were aborted for this reason.’
    • ‘The selected titles were microfilmed by Document Technology, Inc., of Mobile.’
    • ‘If it had not been microfilmed to fit on the tiny dot you see above, it would have taken up 63 pages.’