A microform document archival method that consists of 16mm film which has been laid out in little 4-by-6-inch sheets instead of being linearly spooled the way microfilm is. Microfiche is not terribly high quality, but is very cheap to reproduce and is suitable and popular for storage of newspapers, magazines, and maps. Most newspapers have their back issues available in binders of microfiche; most libraries will have a small collection of such binders, and a few of the distinctive microfiche machines.

The microfiche machines basically consist of a little tray you put the microfiche sheets onto, a plastic/glass screen that clamps down on top of the microfiche when the tray is slid into place, and a big boxy monitor thing that basically consists of a lens, a mirror, and a screen; the microfiche sheets are lit from underneath, and their content is projected onto the screen. Some of the cooler microfiche viewers even have the ability to switch lenses and zoom in on the material being viewed, which is a very useful feature to have.

"Fiche" is apparently French for "card-index".

( Albert Herring says "Fiche" is French for any sort of record sheet. Or an electrical plug, or the 3rd p. sing. of the verb se ficher, meaning not to give a damn. )

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.