The periodicals collection on microform complements that on paper. It is fully catalogued and the location of all microform issues is given in the Library Catalogue.
It falls roughly into the following categories:
Considerable holdings of the back-years of scholarly journals are held in microform although more and more titles are becoming available in digital format.
The permanent newspaper archive of the Library is kept on microfilm, this being still the safest medium for long-term storage.
The Library offers its users some of the major European newspapers from 1945 onwards for which a microfilm edition exists and for which indexes are available. Where the absence of indexes would mean that there would be no coverage for a Member State of the European Union one newspaper for that country is nevertheless included in the archive.
Italian newspapers are accessible elsewhere in Florence, and are excluded. In addition, two major American newspapers (New York Times, Wall Street Journal) were purchased as well as several runs of newspapers pre-dating 1945.
Of particular value are the extensive back runs of United Nations documents (General Assembly and Security Council official records, the legislative series) and European Union documents (Official Journal in the languages of all Member States).
Much of this material is now being published in digital format, notably on CD-ROM.
Current subscriptions include the Parliamentary debates of France, Germany and the UK, the official journals of France, Spain and Belgium, and the Parliamentary Papers of the UK (i.e. House of Commons Command Papers, Papers and Bills). There are also back runs of the Parliamentary debates for the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria and the official journals for the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
A considerable amount of material is made available in commercially published statistical collections (e.g. International Population Census' Publications) or collections of a more generic nature but of equal importance (The Controller's Library Collection of HMSO Publications, 1922-77).
Not all this material is catalogued at the level of the individual titles contained in the collection. In those cases where there is a paper edition in the Library, then the information relating to the microfiche edition is included in the relative catalogue record. (e.g. retrospective runs of the annual statistical yearbooks which form part of the microfiche collection "European Official Statistical Serials, 1841-1984").
This is not always the case for other larger and more complex collections where there is only a generic, not very meaningful title in the Library's catalogue. For the moment in-depth access to this material is limited to printed bibliographies compiled to aid the use of the collections. They are housed in the Microforms Room. Users are urged to consult them and find the treasures within!