Microform Records

Before digitisation, microform reproductions of archival records were created in an effort to help preserve the original records and improve access for clients. From the 1960s onwards many thousands of State Archives were micofilmed. Generally fragile and/or the most commonly used records were copied onto microfilm. State Archives may be contained on any of the following types of microforms:

  • 16 mm roll film
  • 35 mm roll film
  • microfiche
  • 35mm aperture cards
  • 35 mm slides and transparencies

The main advantage of microform records is that in most cases clients will be able to access the records directly on the 3rd floor of the State Librray without being required to complete a retrieval slip.

Viewing Microforms

The majority of SRO's microform records are stored in a row of metallic cabinets situated on the 3rd floor of the State Libray and are ordered according to Accession/Consignment number. 

Access to microform records is on a self-service basis during normal State Library of WA opening hours.

Microform readers are available in the Microfilm area to view microform records.

Most of these microform readers are also microform scanners, capable of making scans from the microform for download to a USB removable drive (e.g. flashdrive, thumbdrive, etc).

Staff at the Battye Library and SRO enquiry desks on the 3rd floor of the State Library are happy to provide clients with assistance in using the microform readers and scanners.

Microforms Register

The majority of records available in microform can be accessed in the Microform Area, without the need for awaiting material to be retrieved, as per records in original format. 

The Microfilm register by agency is a tool created by the State Records Office for determining whether specific consignments of records are available for use in microform.The register is arranged sequentially by name of the agency, and  consignment number and provides information such as format type, approximate date range, item numbers included on microform, and  description of records, where identified.

Copying of Microforms

In some instances it may be possible to purchase duplicates of the actual microforms. Both microfilm reels and individual microfiche can be purchased in this manner. For more information on purchasing microforms contact State Records Office by emailing sro@sro.wa.gov.au.

Digital copies of microforms may be made on a selfserve basis to a USB removable drive.  Please ask Search Room staff for more information.


Updated 18 Aug 2020