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Microform Collections at UBC Library

UBC Library has a rich microform collection. This guide describes major collections, each containing numerous separate titles, along with the associated guides and bibliographies.
If collections are now available online, this is noted.

Canada/British Columbia

See also the "Great Britain. Colonial Office" resources on the Great Britain page.

  • British Columbia, Legislative Assembly, Sessional Papers. (1872-1982)

    British Columbia papers were published in sessional collections until 1982. The collection consists of reports tabled in the Legislative Assembly each year. These are a rich source of information on the history and social development of BC. In the 19th century the Sessional Papers included: voters lists by district; committee reports; orders of the day; petitions & papers presented; records of land sales; correspondence; (budgetary) estimates; and departmental reports. As the 19th century waned much of the content in the Sessional Papers was subsumed into the Journals of the Legislative Assembly or published in separate volumes. By the 1920s, they primarily contain annual reports from government Ministries. Content not transferred to the Journals includes the Voters' List - which was published on its own, and the Estimates - which were published by the Ministry of Finance.

Guide/Index: Guide to the British Columbia sessional papers on microfilm; Index for 1872-1971.

Sessional Papers are indexed in the Journals of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

  • Canada. Parliament. Sessional Papers (1867-1925)

    Canadian government parliamentary papers were published in sessional collections until 1925. Consists of reports tabled in the House of Commons each year, including departmental annual reports, budgets and public accounts, census reports, election returns, and reports of commissions of inquiry and royal commissions. General indexes to the sessional papers are included in those to the Journals of the House of Commons.

Indexed in: Journals of the House of Commons, J103 C2 Koerner Library stacks; General Index to the Journals of the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada and of the Sessional Papers of Parliament; and online from the University of Toronto Library.

Guide/Checklist: Microform Guides cabinet, Koerner Library, Floor 2.
Indexed in:  Journals of the House of Commons, J103 C2 Koerner Library stacks. (Items are identified as "unpublished" in the index to the Journals.)  Partially indexed in the sources listed above for the Sessional Papers.

  • Federal Royal Commissions in Canada 1867-1966, 1967-1980 (Law Library) .

    Royal Commissions have been active in almost every area of economic and social life in Canada. Their reports are excellent indicators of the political and social climate of their times. This collection thus serves as a record of the important public issues that faced government in Canada's first century. (No complete collection exists in paper form.) The microfiche collection is in the Koerner Library Microforms collection and in the Law Library; the Law Library has added records for each commission report without noting that the set is also in Koerner.

Guide/Index:  Federal royal commissions in Canada, 1867-1966 : a checklist; George Fletcher Henderson;
Federal Royal Commissions in Canada, 1966-1977 : an update;
Canadian federal royal commissions 1978-1988 : an update;
Online Index to Federal Royal Commissions.

  • Ontario Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry, 1867-1983 

    Just as with Canada and the other provinces, Ontario's Royal Commission reports represent public inquiries - established at the behest of the Provincial government - into issues of topical importance. Typical topics for Ontario have included labour, education, agriculture, prison management, forestry policy, railroads, financial affairs, public health and police conduct.

Guide/Index: Ontario royal commissions and commissions of inquiry, 1867-1978 : a checklist of reports;
Provincial royal commissions and commissions of inquiry, 1867-1982 : a selective bibliography.

Ontario royal commission reports are available online in OurOntario.

Great Britain

  • British Records Relating to America

    Material ranges in time from the Colonial period to the twentieth century, and in place from Quebec to the West Indies. Includes records relating to trade, industry, plantations, agriculture and ranching, immigration and settlement, the antislavery movement, politics, and military affairs. Personal papers, diaries, state documents, records of industrial and commercial concerns.   

Guide/Index: Microform Guides cabinet, Koerner Library, Floor 2.
Bibliography: A guide to manuscripts relating to America in Great Britain and Ireland  Note, this volume is filed under E173.C75 1979 and - while it provides brief descriptions of the documents in the collection - it does not provide any references to the microform reel numbers.

Index: Cumulative index to the annual catalogues of Her Majesty's Stationery Office publications, 1922-1972; items are numbered according to the year, page number, and order of appearance on each page in the annual HMSO Government Publications catalogues for those years.

  • Great Britain. Colonial Office

    UBC Library has several distinct collections about British Columbia from the Colonial office
    • Vancouver Island Despatches 1846 - 1867 (CO 305)

      Reels included: B233. A significant portion of the Despatches from 1846-1871 is freely available online from the University of Victoria on the Colonial Dispatches website. These include public offices, despatches and correspondence between Vancouver Island's governing officials and the Colonial office in London.

Guide/Index:  Colonial correspondence: detailed finding aid. Call Number: FC3822 .C65, at the Koerner Library microforms reference shelf.

    • Papers Relating to British Columbia

      A microfilm collection of documents prepared for the Public Archives of Canada.

      Reels included: B199, B200, B216, B889-B892, B984, B994, B995, B1365, B1368, B1488, B1489, B1490, B1636, B1664, B1667.
  • Great Britain. House of Commons Parliamentary Papers

    Now available online as House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (U.K.).  HCPP now includes over 200,000 House of Commons sessional papers from 1715 to the present, with supplementary material back to 1688; the debates (Hansard) are also included.

    British Parliamentary Papers or Sessional Papers are documents presented to Parliament on matters under consideration, and include committee proceedings, research into political, economic & social issues, treaties, bills, Royal Commission reports and more. They are compiled by Parliamentary session and since 1801 are arranged in three groups: Bills, House of Commons papers, Command Papers. While they do not include the agenda or House of Commons Debates, the Parliamentary Papers are nonetheless a rich source of primary source documents for British and Canadian history, politics and society.

Guide/Index: Subject catalogue of the House of Commons Parliamentary papers, 1801-1900;
British parliamentary papers. [General] index.

United States

  • American Statistics Index (ASI) 1974-2010

    The United States government is one of the world's most important and prolific publisher of statistics, producing a continual flow of facts and figures on virtually every aspect of life in America and on most matters of world-wide concern. Includes complete texts of many U.S. government publications not available from any other source. Filed according to ASI accession numbers.

Print Index and Abstracts available in the American Statistics Index.
Online Index available through Proquest Statistical Insight.

  • Crime and Juvenile Delinquency (1920-1983)

    Selected from the collection of the library of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency in Hackensack, New Jersey, founded in 1921. Titles include municipal, county, state, federal, and privately-generated documents, reports, and studies, mostly from the United States and Canada. Concentrates on ephemeral and difficult to acquire material.

Guide/Index: Crime and juvenile delinquency : a bibliographic guide to the basic microform collection.

Guide/Index: The Declassified documents quarterly catalog and The Declassified documents catalog.

  • National Technical Information Service (NTIS) Reports

    The collection includes technical reports mostly funded by the US Government and not normally found in the US Monthly Catalog collection. Subjects covered include computer science; various fields in engineering; environmental sciences; agriculture; atomic energy; and Environmental Protection Agency reports. Date coverage mid 1950s to the 1990s.

Guide/Index: U.S. Government research and development reports, 1946-1970;
Government reports: announcements 1971-1975;
Government reports announcements & index, 1975-1979.
NTIS  [CD-ROM], 1980-1998
NTIS website, 1990-

Guide/Index: CIS U.S. serial set index.

  • United States Congress Serial Set

    Note: This overlaps with the collection "United States Congress American State Papers."

    Now available online on the Library of Congress American Memory website and in the subscription database ProQuest US Serial Set Digital Collection.

    This collection contains the journals of both houses of Congress and, of great interest and historical importance, the scores of documents submitted to that body such as annual reports of all executive departments, and titles designated Senate and House Reports.

Guide/Index: CIS U.S. serial set index.

  • United States Government Publications

    This is a nearly complete collection of all U.S. federal government publications for the years indicated. The years 1953-1980 are in microprint; 1981, part of 1982, and 1984-1985 are in microfiche. Congressional committee hearings, prints, and miscellaneous publications for the gaps in this period and for 1986-1987 are also in microfiche.

Guide/Index: Monthly catalog of United States government publications.

Guide/Index: A Guide to O.S.S./State Department intelligence and research reports.


  • FAO Documentation on Microfiche. 1983-1996.

    This is a collection of documents from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, a category of material distinct from its more widely distributed priced publications.  Most of the material is not widely available in print.  FAO publishes titles on plant and animal protection, genetics, land and water development, forestry, fisheries, nutrition, food standards and commodities trade, economic and social policy, environmental monitoring, legislation and investment, and all general aspects of the world food situation.

    See also the online FAO Corporate Document Repository.

Guide/Index:  FAO documentation: current bibliography (1972-1995, paper);
FAO documentation: current bibliography (1976/79-1980/92, microfiche).

  • International Population Census Publications 1945-

    Includes census volumes from countries in the following regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Oceania. Consists of the official census publications of these countries.  UBC Library owns Series 1, 1945-1967, and parts of Series 3, post-1967.

Guide/Index:  Bibliography and reel index: a guide to the microfilm edition of international population census publications, 1945-1967;
International population census, 1945-1967, cross-reference guide.

  • League of Nations Documents and Publications, 1919-1946

    Over 25,000 documents, serial publications and miscellaneous materials including League minutes. Arranged in eighteen subject categories, this material covers every aspect of the League's activities -- political, social, economic, welfare, and cultural.

Guide/Index: League of Nations documents, 1919-1946: a descriptive guide and key to the microfilm collection.