The Library of American Civilization (LAC) is a collection on ultrafiche containing i9,553 titles 6.5 million pages of material relating to all aspects of American life and literature from their beginnings to the outbreak of World War I. Included in the collection are pamphlets, periodicals, documents, biographies and autobiographies, fictional works, poetry, collections of various kinds, materials of foreign origin relating to America, and many rare books not generally available. Access to the LAC is provided through a printed, four-volume guide to LAC materials (located next to the microfiche in the Reference Area).
Finding Library of American Civilization Materials
The first step in using the LAC is to find the LAC fiche number assigned to the material. The printed guide contains author, title and subject catalogs along with a Biblioguide Index. The LAC fiche number appears at the top right corner of the entry for the author, title and subject catalogs.
The Biblioguide Index is divided into 29 chapters - each with its own broad topic. At the beginning of each chapter is an outline of topics. A brief explanation of each subheading is followed by a list of titles in LAC which relate to the subheading. The title list is arranged alphabetically by author name with page and chapter numbers identified as appropriate. Following each citation is the LAC fiche number.
If your topic is much more specific than the Biblioguide headings (or if you are unsure which heading would include your topic), go to the index at the end of the Biblioguide to look up your topic. Entries are arranged alphabetically, and will direct you to the appropriate chapter and subheading. Ask a Reference Librarian for assistance if you have difficulty locating materials.
Retrieving LAC Materials
When you have located the LAC number, go the the LAC cabinet in the Microform Area and retrieve the appropriate fiche. LAC fiche are filed numerically.
LAC materials are on a type of microform called ultrafiche. Up to 1000 pages of text will fit onto one piece of ultrafiche. You must use the Canon PC 70 Reader/Printer marked "for LAC materials" to read or print ultrafiche. Use the lens selector to move the 90X lens into place. Operating instructions are posted next to the Reader/Printer.
Copying LAC Materials
Copies of LAC materials may be made by using a 90x lens on the Canon PC 70 Reader/Printer. Request assistance with changing lenses at the Reference Desk.
Re-filing LAC Materials
When you have finished using the materials, place the fiche in its holder and put it in the box marked "To be Re-filed" on top of the fiche cabinet. Library staff will re-file the fiche.
Major Headings in the LAC Biblioguide Index