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Gone Fishin’

Published on Tue, 10/25/2016 - 10:25am

I really don’t know a lot about fishing, but I do know that it takes a lot of patience. Using microfiche (pronounced like fish) is a little bit like fishing. It takes patience to look through it and find exactly what you want. Just like finding a good spot is important to a fisherman, knowing where to look for microfiche can help you find the right record. 

The Midwest Genealogy Center has some great resources available on microform (either microfilm or microfiche) if you know where to look. Some of it has been cataloged, so you can search for it in Mid-Continent Public Library's catalog. Look for the symbol that looks like a reel of microfilm next to the entry. Another helpful place to search is MGC’s Microform Holdings Guides. You can also find printed copies of these guides at MGC. Often overlooked is the microform collection on indefinite loan from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. That means that at some point someone ordered film or fiche for their own research, but that it remains here for others to use as well. Some of the types of resources available on microform include books, periodicals, city directories, and vital records. For example, you can look at parish records from Germany (fiche 909923). A list of the film or fiche numbers available at MGC can be found on MGC’s website.

While I would love everything in today’s day and age to be digital, there is still a wealth of information waiting to be fished out of MGC’s fiche cabinets. Come on in and try some genealogy style “fiching.” You don’t even need expensive equipment for this type of fishing. Just bring your MCPL Access Pass and a flash drive if you want to create a digital image. Tell us about your big “fiche” story. What has been your big catch while looking through either microfilm or microfiche?

Jolene C.
Midwest Genealogy Center

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