Major Microform Series of English and American Imprints
Microforms (microfilm, microfiche, and microcard) make it possible to use many out of print and rare materials which otherwise would not be available to scholars. Developing technologies promise to make these materials accessible more easily in the future, but microforms are likely to be the best available preservation media for many years to come. This research guide describes several of the major comprehensive microform series of English and American printed books, periodicals and newspapers.
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Using the Catalogs
Many individual titles in these series are catalogued separately. Others may require reference to a bibliography or reel guide to obtain reel number or other information necessary to locate your material. If you need assistance, ask a librarian.
Early English Books: Series I, 1475-1640 (often referred to as "Pollard and Redgrave" or "STC I"). Format: microfilm *ZKC; complete. This venerable series, based on Pollard and Redgrave's two-volume Short-title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of English books printed abroad, 1475-1640 , includes over 30,000 titles. The original (1937) entry for the set is listed in the Library's retrospective Dictionary Catalog under University Microfilms. Some entries for individual items in the set appear in the Dictionary Catalog under author or title. Almost 2,000 items recently added to the series will be found in the Library's online catalog, CATNYP, with complete cataloguing, including reel number. To obtain this material, include the call number (*ZKC) and microfilm reel number on the call slip. For most items, first check the Pollard and Redgrave bibliography (North Reading Room, first ed. *RR-*GBH; second ed. *R-*GBH 76-7093) to obtain the STC number; then the Cross-Index (at the Information Desk in the Public Catalog Room, also at the Microforms desk in the North Reading Room, *ZKC+) to obtain the reel number. The reel guides themselves, still useful for information on the edition or the condition of the copy filmed, may be consulted at the Microforms desk.
Early English Books: Series II, 1641-1700 (often referred to as "Wing" or "STC II"). Format: microfilm *Z-5184; in progress. This ongoing series, based on Donald Wing's three-volume Short-title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and British America and of English books printed in other countries, 1641-1700 , will upon its completion include about 50,000 titles. Access is similar to STC I above. First obtain the Wing number from the parent bibliography (North Reading Room, *R-*GBH 74-3666), then consult the Cross-Index (at the Public Catalog Room Information Desk, also *Z-5184+ at the Microforms Division desk) to locate the microfilm reel number. A nine-volume index to units 1-60, providing access by author, title, subject, Wing number and reel position, is also available at the Public Catalog Room Information Desk. Recent additions to this series may also be found in CATNYP.
The Eighteenth Century [Eighteenth century (Research Publications, Inc.)] Format: microfilm *ZAN-5681; in progress. This ongoing microform series is based on the RLIN Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) database (recently enlarged in scope and renamed English Short Title Catalogue ), and consists of works printed in the British Empire or printed in English anywhere else in the world from 1701 to 1800. Eventually about 200,000 titles will be included. There is thus far no printed version of the online bibliography. A CD-ROM version is available in the South Reading Room. A CD-ROM version of the English Short Title Catalogue has been announced for 1996. For individual items, reel number information may be obtained from The Eighteenth century: guide to the microform collection (*ZAN-5681+ at the Microforms desk in the North Reading Room), and from the special online database. As this database is not accessible to the public except in the CD-ROM version, ask a librarian at the Information Desk to help you if you still cannot locate the reel number.
The Nineteenth Century. Format: microfiche *XM-17,725; in progress. This ambitious series is related to, but does not encompass, the ongoing Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalogue (North Reading Room, *R-*GDD 85-1133), which will ultimately record more than one million titles. The Library has subscribed to the General Collection, covering works arranged in fifteen broad subject categories, and to three of the Specialist Collections: Linguistics; Publishing and the Book Trade; and Visual Arts and Architecture. At present, subject access is limited. You may locate authors and titles filmed thus far via the Contents List which accompanies each unit, shelved at the Microforms desk (North Reading Room) in *XM-17,725+.
English Literary Periodicals. Format: microfilm *ZAN-591; complete. This collection consists of 341 titles published in Britain during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The printed guide, Accessing English literary periodicals (available at the Public Catalog Room Information Desk and at the Microforms desk under ZAN-591+), lists periodicals by title. There are also subject, editor, and reel number indexes. The approximately 25 titles which are indexed in Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (North Reading Room, *R-*D 91-430) are starred.
Early American Imprints, 1639-1800 (often referred to as "Evans"). Format: microfiche *XM-16,101; complete. This series reproduces the texts in Charles Evans's 14-volume American bibliography: a chronological dictionary of all books, pamphlets, and periodical publications printed in the United States of America from the genesis of printing in 1639 down to and including the year 1800 (*R-*GDB 85-1552 in the North Reading Room; also *XM-16,102 at the Microforms desk). To obtain this material, include the microform classmark (*XM-16,101) and the Evans number on the call slip. The Evans number is available in the parent bibliography, in its microform edition (*XM-16,102), or in Shipton and Mooney, National index of American imprints through 1800: the short-title Evans (at the Public Catalog Room Information Desk, also in the North Reading Room under *RR-*GDB [Evans]), which includes most of the additional items in Bristol's Supplement (Bristol, Supplement to Charles Evans' American bibliography , *XM-16,103 at the Microforms desk).
Early American Imprints, 1801-1819 (often referred to as "Shaw-Shoemaker"). Format: Readex microprint *XD-9; complete. This is the microprint edition of the texts listed in Shaw and Shoemaker's 22-volume American bibliography: a preliminary checklist for 1801-1819 (in the North Reading Room under *R-*GDB). To obtain an individual item, complete the call slip with the microform classmark (*XD-9)and the Shaw-Shoemaker number. The collection has been reissued on microfiche, but is not available in this format at the New York Public Library. However, it is possible to make copies from the microprint cards as from other microformats; ask at the Copy Services desk.
Early American Newspapers. Format: microfilm *ZAN-7473; in progress. Based on Brigham's two-volume History and bibliography of American newspapers 1690-1820 (at the Information Desk in the Public Catalog Room), this collection will eventually include all obtainable issues of more than 2,000 American newspapers before 1820, and some carried past 1820. A checklist of titles and dates received may be consulted at the Public Catalog Room Information Desk and at the Microforms desk. For other sources of information regarding the Library's holdings of early newspapers, including the United States Newspaper Project, ask a librarian at the Information Desk.
American Periodicals: Series I, 1741-1800; Series II, 1800-1850; Series III, 1850-1900 (often referred to as "APS I, II, III") Format: microfilm *ZAN-179, *ZAN-180, *ZAN-3280; complete. This collection covers more than 1,100 American periodicals published between 1741 and 1900. A one-volume guide, American periodicals, 1741-1900 (at the Information Desk in the Public Catalog Room and the Microforms desk), includes a title index with brief introduction and publishing history for each title; and additional indexes by subject, editor and reel number. A computer-generated index to individual articles will eventually cover all three series. The two-volume Index to American Periodicals of the 1700's: keyed to University Microfilms APS I is now available in the North Reading Room under *R-*D 89-5027; the ongoing multivolume Index to American Periodicals of the 1800's: keyed to University Microfilms APS II under *R-*D 90-1789. An earlier Index to early American periodicals to 1850 , based upon analysis of 350 American periodicals published between 1730 and 1860, is available in a microprint edition under *XD-1.