Skip to Main Content

User Services: How-To...

Explains how to make use of some popular (and also some little-known) services at NGL

Currently Unavailable

Please note that our microforms machine is currently down. We are doing our best to repair it but cannot estimate when it may be available again.

How to Use Microfilm & Other Microforms

Microfilm and other microforms are shelved in a closed area and must be retrieved by staff.

  • Locate the material you need in the library catalog. If you aren't sure what you need, contact the Research Commons for searching assistance.
  • Write down the call number and, if applicable, the date, volume, or issue of the material you are seeking. If you know the reel number in a set, that is helpful too.
  • Bring this information to the Copy Room service window (Room 103 on the first floor of the library) and ask to have the microform retrieved.
  • View the material using the microform reader scanner available just outside the service window. Please see the instructions below for using the scanner. Please ask at the service window if you need assistance with operating the scanner.

Parts of the scanner: 

Types of microfilm: 

Microfilm Reel

Negative Microfiche                                                                          Positive Microfiche


First steps:

  1. Check to ensure that the small green light on the front of the scanner is on. If the light is not on, please turn on the machine using the power switch at the back right rear of the scanner.
  2. Wake up the computer monitor by moving the mouse or pressing a button on the keyboard. If the computer is not already on, turn on the computer by pressing the power button on the PC tower.
  3. Log into the computer by clicking the SHSU account icon in the middle of the screen. It should not ask for any login information such as a username or password.
  4. Open the PowerScan program from the desktop by clicking the ScanPro 2000 Software Icon icon.

Loading the microfilm:

To load a microfilm, pull the bottom handle outwards until the glass slate opens to about a 45-degree angle. Then, the diagram shown below should appear on the screen, displaying the proper way to load a film reel. ***Note – all film rotation is CLOCKWISE***

To load a microfiche, simply place the film onto the lifted glass slate. Once any of the types of microfilm are loaded properly, push the handle back under the lens to close the class. Gently use the handle to slowly position the glass until an image is shown on the monitor.

Movement Controls:

For microfilm:

Use the Motorized Roll Film Control section of the software (as shown below) to advance or rewind the film between images.

  1. Use the mouse to click and drag along the bar for low-speed movement.
  2. Use the mouse to click and hold for fast/high-speed movement.
  3. Double click for high-speed rewind.

*** Please be sure to use the handle to pull forward and open the glass slate when using functions B and C ***

For microfiche:

Use the handle to slowly move the glass tray in the desire direction to view each page or image.

Image Controls:

 Automatic Film Movement – Clicking the forward or back arrows allows for the user to move to the next image or page. (Please note: this function may not always precisely move exactly one page.)

 Film Type – This allows for the user to switch between negative and positive film formats.

 Zoom – Use AZ to auto-zoom or click and hold + or – to manually zoom in or out.

 Magnifier – Click the button to open the window. Click the blue arrow to choose the desired magnification.

 Rotate 90º – Click to rotate an image 90 degrees left or right.

 Film Orientation – Click to rotate the camera orientation 90 degrees left or right to match the orientation of the image.

  Auto Adjust – Click to allow the software to automatically straighten, crop, adjust contrast and brightness of the image. To manually crop, click and hold the green frame to manually adjust the image.

  Brightness and Contrast – Use the up and down arrow buttons to manually adjust the brightness and contrast.

 Manual Straighten – Click the – or + buttons to manually straighten or re-orient the image.

 Mirror – Click to reverse or flip the image.

 Focus – The software automatically defaults to Auto Focus mode, but manually adjustments can be made using the – and + buttons.

 Scan USB – Click to scan to drive #2 (your USB or flash drive).

 Scan Mode – Click to choose between Enhanced Grayscale (recommended), Grayscale, or Black & White.

 Scan Resolution – Click the arrow to select the image resolution. 300 DPI is the recommended resolution.

 Scan Size – Click the up or down arrows to change the image size (the dimensions should be shown on the Crop Box). Click the AS button to auto adjust the image to paper size (normal mode).

Scanning and Saving to a USB or Flash Drive

  1. Insert your USB drive into the slot on the computer.
  2. Click the Scan to Drive #2 button.
  3. Find and select your USB drive from the drop-down menu at the top of the window.
  4. Name your file, choose PDF (multi-page) as the file type, and click save.
  5. Continue clicking the Scan to Drive #2 button for each subsequent page you would like to scan. (A small window should appear to keep count of your pages as you continue scanning after each page.)
  6. Once done, click the Finish button and the file will be created and saved on your USB drive.

Final Steps:

  1. Use the handle to pull and open the glass slate to remove a microfiche and before using the Fast or High-Speed or Rewind buttons to rewind and removed a reel. (See Movement Controls section)
  2. Push the glass slate back into the scanner machine once the microfilm has been removed.
  3. Exit out of the scanner software program.
  4. Power off the ScanPro machine using the power button on the back.
  5. Log off or power off the computer.


You may also view the additional video tutorial created by the Brigham Young University Family History Library. 


Newton Gresham Library | (936) 294-1614 | (866) NGL-INFO | Ask a Question | Share a Suggestion

Sam Houston State University | Huntsville, Texas 77341 | (936) 294-1111 | (866) BEARKAT
© Copyright Sam Houston State University | All rights reserved. | A Member of The Texas State University System