PMRR Services

The Microforms Reading Room in Butler Library is currently available for in-person use on a very limited basis by appointment only to current Columbia affiliates (students, faculty and staff) whose individual research requires consulting microfilm or microfiche. Appointments will be scheduled on Mondays from 9:30am to 1pm, Wednesdays from 2–4:45pm, and Fridays from 2–4:45pm. Unaffiliated visitors are not permitted in Columbia University buildings at this time. Users who need to access microform readers to view, scan, or print microforms should contact the Periodicals and Microforms Reading Room staff by emailing with details about your request (including links to CLIO catalog records) and availability.

If it’s necessary for you to use equipment on site in Butler, PMRR staff will confirm your visit and provide instructions for getting access to Butler and using the equipment. All visitors must comply with the following terms and conditions for entering and using library spaces.

Terms & Conditions to Enter and Use Libraries Study Spaces

To enter and use Libraries study spaces, you must affirm that you will abide with Columbia's Community Health Compact and adhere to the following terms and conditions:

  • Wear a face covering at all times
  • Maintain six feet of physical distance
  • Arrive on time for your reservation
  • Food and drinks are not permitted in the PMRR.
  • Leave furniture in place
  • Wash your hands after touching shared surfaces
  • Only library staff may handle books; use for online access or to request a book for pick-up

Failure to comply may result in termination of library study seat reservation privileges; you may be asked to show your Columbia ID for reporting purposes.

Requesting Microforms from the Libraries’ Collections

You can request microfilm and microfiche owned by the Libraries’ by searching in the Libraries’ catalog, CLIO. Please email the relevant catalog links to with additional details about your request. Materials that must be consulted on site will be delivered to the PMRR (Butler 401) for use during your appointment.


To request copies of entire reels of microfilm, and also digital images of whole titles/volumes, contact the Libraries’ Preservation Department: Reprographic Services and Fees for Patrons or by emailing This service is applicable only to microfilm made by Columbia University. Restrictions apply.

Self-Service Copying

Scanning of Microfilm/Fiche: Users can scan portions of film or fiche using PMRR’s microform viewers and then download/email the images as PDF files.

Assistance with the Equipment

Self-service instructions for using the equipment will be available. A staff member will also be present in the Microforms Reading Room; however, we ask patrons to limit interactions with staff and maintain social distance in all interactions.

Reference and Research Help

For help with reference or research questions, please use the Libraries’ virtual reference service: Ask a Librarian.