3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 19, 2017 12:02 PM by Adem Kendir

    Microfilm Reading Room Question




      I was wondering if the microfilm reading room was particularly busy in the fall or winter, either October-November or February-March. I know that there are only 14 readers, and am trying to gauge how much time I would need to spend in Washington, as I would be visiting from Canada. I would be worried that I would run out of time, as I would probably have a total of a couple of solid days of research to do.


      Thank you very much!

        • Re: Microfilm Reading Room Question

          Dear Mr. Kendir,

          Thank you for your question to History Hub! Use of the two microfilm reading rooms in D.C. and College Park vary widely, but generally speaking, “busy season” falls between May and September. Visitation does tend to pick up during college breaks in fall and winter, but this is only based upon general observation of trends. In-house statistics relating to the College Park facility indicate that either of the two periods you mention above should be fine for researching on microfilm, as increase in visits usually does not stress the capacity of the readers we have in the room.

          Over the summer, staff at Archives II in College Park made upgrades to the microfilm reading room there to enhance the researcher experience and ease the process of locating the information relating to along with finding the actual microfilm for which you are searching. More information regarding these upgrades and the process for locating those records are posted here and here.

          In downtown Washington, DC at Archives I, you shouldn’t have any problem accessing the microfilm readers during our slower season. Staff in the room can help you locate the rolls you need and load the machines. Additionally, you should check here to see if the microfilm publications that you are interested in have already been digitized. Depending on the amount of records you are planning to look at, you should be able to fit your researching efforts into a few-day window.

          Best of luck on your research and thanks again for your inquiry to History Hub!


          Credit to Cherkea Howery for her contributions to this post.

          3 people found this helpful
          • Re: Microfilm Reading Room Question

            Great. I would be visiting the College Park site. Thank you very much for the details!