StaffGuide: Serials Receiving & Processing

Serials Receiving & Processing StaffGuide Home Page

Microfilm & Microfiche Check In

Microfilm Check-In

Microfilm Check-In


  • Pay close attention to and read all record notes. They will guide you through the microfilm check-in process.  

                   Microfilm Record Notes

  • Check-in microfilm
    • Verify cover date or add in cover date if necessary.
    • Go to view > public display to open the catalog display in the web browser.
    • When you check in the microfilm a box will pop up leading you through the item record creation process. Refer to the record notes when answering the prompt boxes: I-Type, Location, Status, volume and date (follow the pattern shown in the public display), and then scan in a barcode. Answer yes to any prompts regarding duplicate checking. This ensures that the barcode is not already in the system. A completed microfilm item record should look similar to the example below.                                                                                        Completed Microfilm
    • The newly added item record will be at the end of the item record list. Click Move and move it to its correct location. Then, select edit > preserve sort.

​                          ​Microfilm Item Record Adjustment

  • Refresh the browser window to make sure that the newly-created item is in its correct location in the public catalog.
  • With the item record created, label the box with the labels printed from the check-in record: Microfilm Label
  • Reread the check-in record note to determine if paper check-in record boxes needed to be deleted or suppressed.                Microfilm Record Notes on Box Deletion or Suppression
  • Remember to record the count of microfilm on your non-print statistics tally sheet!

Basic Microfiche Check-In

Basic Microfiche Check-In


(If you are checking in batches of microfiche see the "Batch Microfiche Check-In" box.)

  • Search for the journal title, make sure we are expecting the microfiche, and check to see if we received duplicates. Also make sure it is not a canceled or dropped title. After verifying that you are supposed to check in the microfiche you can proceed to begin the check-in process.
    • Duplicates: If this is a paid title, do not check in and let the Serials Acquisitions Manager know we received duplicates.
    • Canceled or Dropped title: If this was a paid title, do not check in and let the Serials Acquisitions Manager know we received microfiche but the title was canceled or dropped.
  • Make sure each volume and issue number of microfiche is in its own “archival quality” sleeve with no more than five sheets per sleeve (if they arrive overfilled, rearrange them to where there are no more than 5 per envelope). 
  • Place a barcode on the front of each sleeve in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Go to the check-in card and add the appropriate enumeration and cover dates in the boxes of what was received. After check-in, don't forget to add an expected date for one box after all the "Arrived" boxes.
    • We want to ensure that at least one box has an expected date so if the microfiche is late, it will trigger the claims function in Sierra.


  • Next, use the check in function by clicking on the "Check In" button or press the "CTRL key” and “C key" at the same time to initiate the check in function.
  • It should print the call number label and receipt label from the label printer. Place the labels on the sleeve (see screenshot below for proper label placement).
    • A “Create an Item for Serials Check-in – New ITEM” window should pop up.
      • If an item record pop up window never popped up, you will need to review your new item record template settings in Sierra. Go to Admin, Settings, New Records, Look for "New Record Templates: Item:", choose "Always prompt for template".
      • To review item record templates: Go to Admin, Settings, Record Templates, Record type: item and choose the item record templates you may need. In Serials we use (this may vary for each staff member): Bind, interi (for electronic books only), mfich (only used for the mfiche barcoding project), ser1x (used for 1x adds processing).
    • Select template “bind: Binding'”, press "Select",
    • Edit Data: IType=7 (Microfiche), select “Next”,
    • Edit Data: Location=mfich (Periodicals Microfiche), select “Next”,
    • Edit Data: STATUS= - (AVAILABLE), select “Next”,
    • Insert a non-MARC field: v (VOLUME): Enter the correct volume, issue number, number of sheets and date in the Volume field. select “Next”,

Volume sample

  • It should now ask you to scan the barcode. Once you’ve done this make sure the information looks correct then select “Save”.  You should always select "Yes" when prompted to check for duplicates when the pop up window appears.
  • Save and go to the item record summary.
  • (Moving item records individually option): A list of all the item records should come up when you change the view record summary to "Item". Find the volumes you just entered at the bottom of the list. Move each of the volumes you added individually by clicking on it, selecting the "Move" button and when prompted, entering "1" (or another number if not the very top) for the space you’d like to move it to.
  • (Moving multiple item records option): You can select multiple item records by highlighting one item record, clicking the left mouse key, and dragging down for the item records you want selected. Then select the "Move" button and when prompted, enter the number for the starting space you’d like to move the items to.
  • Select Edit>>Preserve Sort.
  • Go to View>>Public Display and verify that the item records you've just moved are in the correct positions in the public display.
  • (STATISTICS): Remember to record the count of microfiche on your non-print statistics tally sheet (see below)! Each barcoded sleeve of microfiche receives a tally. 

Example of a microfiche sleeve that is labeled and barcoded: 

microfiche labeling

Batch Microfiche Check-In

Checking in Batches of Microfiche


NOTE: These instructions are based on checking in Barron's, which was the last journal we had a subscription to in microfiche format. As of February 2020, we do not subscribe to any journals in microfiche, so these procedures can be adapted and modified in case we renew or start any new subscriptions to any microfiche journals in the future.

Because the microfiche shipments arrive quarterly in batches of around 13, the microfiche card’s frequency is set to quarterly w/ 30 days before claim (this is known as the “shipment frequency”). However, this creates complications when adding/updating boxes. Since it is a weekly title and each microfiche envelope contains a weekly issue, you will need to temporarily change the frequency to weekly (the “journal frequency”) in order to efficiently carry out the check-in process.

*****Remember to SAVE THE CARD after making any major changes, especially after completing the check-in process.*****

STATISTICS: Remember to record the count of microfiche on your non-print statistics tally sheet (see below)! Each barcoded sleeve of microfiche receives a tally. 

Follow these steps:

  1. Examine each fiche envelope to verify that the dates, enumeration, and number of fiche all look accurate. You can refer to the newspaper/print check-in record to verify the dates and enumeration.
  2. Go to the microfiche check-in record and then the card.
  3. In the card, press Ctrl+E to open the edit card box. In the frequency drop-down menu, change it from quarterly to weekly.
  4. Open the first expected box in the card. Enter the first fiche’s cover date, volume, and issue number and hit OK.
    • NOTE: It may be necessary to delete older boxes of microfiche to make room for new ones. If you need to do this, remember to not delete the item records! When a pop up window of item records appears after deleting the boxes, select "Cancel" instead of "Ok" to ensure that only the boxes are deleted but the item records remain. 
  5. Select the first box and drag the mouse to highlight the next 12 boxes (or however many fiche are contained in the shipment).
  6. Press Ctrl+U to update the boxes as a group. Checkmark the cover date and enumeration and click OK.
  7. Double-check to make sure that the volume and issue numbers for all 13 fiche are accurate and that the cover dates are in weekly increments.
  8. In the number field within the enumeration, enter the number of microfiche sheets that each envelope contains for each issue (i.e. sh.1-2 for two sheets, sh.1-3 for three, etc.).

Here is an example of how microfiche boxes should look after updating them and entering the info (they will be yellow and say "expected" at first, and then green with "arrived" after check-in):

microfiche check-in boxes after being updated

  1. You can now check the fiche in, label them, and create item records following the basic microfiche check-in instructions. Remember to move the item records to the top and verify their position in the public display.
  2. After completing the check-in process, change the check-in card’s frequency back to the shipment frequency by pressing Ctrl+E and selecting “quarterly” from the frequency drop-down menu.              
  • IMPORTANT: Change the “Days before Claim” to 30 (whenever you change the card frequency back to quarterly, Sierra automatically sets it to 45, so it always needs to manually be changed back to 30). Hit OK.
  1. In the card, select the last arrived box and the first expected box. Hit Ctrl+U and checkmark “expected date.” Make sure the “increment transactions dates” box is also checked. Click OK.
  2. The next expected date should be in 3 months and the claim-on date should be in 4 months. Double check these.
  3. Save the card, close the record, and place the microfiche on the pickup shelf.

Abbreviations for Microfiche Item Records & Examples

Common Abbreviations for Microfiche Item Record Volume Fields


Item records require specific abbreviations when completing the volume field. Below is a list of acceptable Item Record Abbreviations:Item Abbreviations

You will frequently use: 

Abbreviation Meaning
& and
indx index
n. number
sh. microfiche sheet
v. volume

Examples on how to type the volume information for microfiche:

Sports illustrated:

Example: v.50 no.1 sh.1 Ja 8 1979, v.50 no.2 sh.1-2 Ja 15 1979, etc.

Note: Since Ja 15 1979 had 2 sheets of microfiche, they will be in one envelope.

Do not overfill microfiche envelopes: 

There should not be more than 5 microfiche in an envelope. If you are working on a project or receive an item where there are more than 5 microfiche in an envelope, you should fix the problem. See below for an example. 

Example: v.9 no.1 sh.1-5 Spr. 1976

               v.9 no.1 sh.6-7 Spr. 1976

Here the 7 fiches have been broken into two parts, one with 5 fiche another with 2. 

Indexes and Contents Fiches 

  • If there is an index microfiche sheet, it gets its own envelope.
  • If the index fiche is combined with another volume on the same sheet:

When you have a microfiche sheet that combines issue and index, the index should be noted as: & indx. If the index is for the contents on the fiche, then & indx is all you need. But if the index is for some other vol/year then you need to designate what the index covers. & indx 19 or & indx 1989. 

Example 1: v.9 no.1 sh.1 Spr 1976 & indx.  (this means the index covers volume 9).

Example 2: v.9 no.1 sh.1 Spr 1976 & indx 8. (this means the index covers volume 8). 

Sometimes the volume information can get complicated. If you have questions ask you supervisor for instruction.