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New York Times Birthday Headline Event: Start Here


Need guidance finding and printing the New York Times cover page from your birthday? This guide will help you!


A reproduction of the New York Times from the day Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Read the article here.

Current NYT

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Step 1: Find your Microfilm Reel

The microfilm in Smith Library Center might be in an area of the building you've never even been to! Head towards the courtyard on the first floor, and turn right. You'll find the microfilm machine tucked behind librarian Joan Parks' office. Then if you head towards the main road (29 / South) you'll find the film itself stored in metal cabinets. Look for something that seems like it's straight out of Star Wars. Then locate New York Times (arranged alphabetically) and scan the shelves for your birth year and month (arranged chronologically).

As always, if you need any help just ask at the Info Desk.


                       Hallway of microfilm.                                   Pull the handle with your date range.                Find the box containing your birthday.

Step 2: Load the Film onto the Machine


Pull the viewer machine's handle toward you, so that the glass opens. Then push the spool of microfilm all the way onto the left metal pin. Thread the film through as shown here:

Step 3: Navigate to Your Birthday Page

There are helpful information binders at the workstation to guide you through this process. You will use the software 'ViewScan Premium'.

Basically, play with the buttons  to advance the microfilm forward and backwards, eventually landing on the front page of the New York Times on your birthday. Then fiddle with the zoom and focus buttons to make the 'above the fold' part of your newspaper readable. You don't have to get everything clear and crisp, just legible. Note: this may take some practice, but is worth the effort.

The red and white advance/rewind and zoom/focus buttons.

Example of the helpful guides at the workstation.

Step 4 Print and Timeline

Now you've saved your birthday page as a pdf and can email it to yourself or put it on a flashdrive.

You can print from there, or while you're still on the microfilm computer, just go to Print directly to a black and white SLC printer- print 1 copy to keep and 1 to add to our Birthday timeline! This is conveniently located on the wall just past the first floor printers.

Sample print out