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Microfilm at Carleton

Meet T-Rex

T-Rex, named for his hulking posture and his general ancient-ness, is a venerable old workhorse in the Reference Room. Find him between the Research/IT Desk and the wall of offices, near the tall blue couches and the low Ready Reference shelves.

Turning the machine on

There's a power button along the right side of the machine near where the screen connects to the base.

Loading Microfilm 

1) Load the reel of film

Below the screen area on the left, there's a metal rod sticking forward. Look at the diagram below this rod to find out which direction the role of microfilm should go.

2) Feed the film across the "stage" under the lens

Feed the end of the microfilm below the white roller and then push it gently down the green chute. As you push gently, the film should slip between the glass plates of the "Stage" (under the lens). Keep going until the film is all the way across the stage and out the other side.

3) Connect the film to the opposite side

Check to make sure the microfiche tray (the grey part below the stage with a handle in front) is pressed all the way to the right and to the back.

Check to make sure that the navigation nob on the right has its direction indicator going straight up.

Now you can press the "Load" button on the right, and the film should quickly wind onto the enclosed spool on the right.

4) Navigate through the film

To move forward and backward, use the nob on the right to move quickly, or use your hands on the spools to fine-tune your location.

To move side to side, use the green lever sticking out of the bottom of the unit near the Stage

To rotate your view, turn the nob that's just above and to the right of the lens

Loading Microfiche 

1) Put the fiche onto the "Stage"

Pull the "Stage" area out using the handle near the bottom right of the unit. When you've pulled it all the way out, the top pane of glass will open up.

Place the fiche between the panes of glass. There is a diagram near the front of the Stage telling you how to place the fiche - match the way the letters on the diagram are with the letters on your fiche. This way the text will show up in a readable way on the screen.

2) Navigate through the fiche

To move around the fiche, use the handle on the front of the Stage and move the whole stage around.

Adjusting Your View

Focus and Zoom

The lens has two gear-like adjustment rings. One of these rings adjusts the lens focus and one zooms in and out.

Can't zoom in or out enough? You probably have to change the lens. Please ask a staff member to get the lenses out for you (they're in a drawer behind the Research/IT Desk in styrofoam containers). You can simply grasp the grey ledge-handle near the bottom of the lens and pull forward to remove it from the machine. Lift up the cap that drops down from the top in order to insert the new lens.

You may have to adjust the lighting for a new lens as well. If the screen looks poorly lit, make sure that the color on the magnification label on the lens matches the color on the lever below the Stage and adjust that lever as needed.

Changing Negative/Positive view

If you end up with white words on a black background, use the "Mode" button to adjust N>P (which means "Negative to Positive"). Now you should have black words on a white background.


We do not recommend printing from T-Rex any more. He is old and prone to jamming. If you do print, simply push the big PRINT button, and everything inside of the black corner markings on the screen will be printed onto a sheet of paper that will emerge from just below the desk portion of the machine.